- NATO Kosovo Force
- Operation Enduring Freedom
- Operation Freedom’s Sentinel
- Operation Inherent Resolve
- Operation Iraqi Freedom
- Operation New Dawn
- Operation Octave Shield
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- The People Behind The Sacrifice
Army Sgt. Ronald A. Kubik
Died April 23, 2010 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom
21, of Brielle, N.J.; assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Benning, Ga.; died April 23 in Logar province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained while conducting combat operations. Also killed was Sgt. Jason A. Santora.
Rangers, Green Berets, friends and family remember Kubik
By Jim McConville
Gannett New Jersey
Army Sgt. Ronald A. Kubik lived life as if already two steps ahead of everybody else.
Kubik also found out early in life his destiny was to be both soldier and leader.
That is how family members and fellow Army Rangers remembered him during a funeral service May 3 at St. Benedict Roman Catholic Church in Holmdel.
Kubik, 21, of Brielle was killed April 23 during combat operations by Company D, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, in eastern Afghanistan’s Logar province.
More than 300 people who also included members of the Holmdel police, New Jersey State Police and Green Berets turned out on an overcast and mildly windy morning to bid farewell to Kubik. Also in attendance was Kubik’s godfather, Alex Kubik III, a deacon who assisted at the celebration of the funeral Mass.
Motorcycle riders from American Legion Post 348 Patriot Guard in Brick provided the motorcade escort to the front steps of the church.
Sixteen Army Rangers served as an honor guard, flanking Kubik’s casket as it was wheeled into church for the standing-room-only funeral.
During the services, Kubik’s mother, Eileen Kubik, described her son as an “achiever” who developed a thirst for life and adventure at an early age.
An avid electric guitarist who was a part of a metal band, Ronald Kubik joined his high school football and wrestling teams, wrote a column for the school newspaper, took an acting class, and liked whitewater rafting and skydiving.
“In your short life you have shown energy, passion and courage,” Eileen Kubik said. “‘Rest peacefully, my brave Ranger; rest peacefully, my brave son.”
Lt. Col. Shawn L. Daniel, executive officer of the 75th Ranger Regiment, described Kubik as a soldier beyond his years.
“Ronny was his own man and lived life like he liked it,” Daniel said. “Ron, rest in peace knowing that your Ranger brothers are still pursuing the fight.”
Struggling to hold back tears, Kubik’s father, Ronald A. Kubik, praised his son’s short but eventful 21 year’s of life.
“He was my best friend,” the elder Kubik said. “I could not be more proud of him than I am now.”
The elder Kubik recalled that during his son’s first leave in three tours of duty, his son presented him with one his medals.
“Dad, you deserve it more than me,” the elder Kubik, holding the medal up, quoted his son as saying. “You made me what I now am.”
Sergeant Kubik’s older sister, Amy Kubik, 25, called her brother “by other half, my brother, my friend.”
Kubik is also survived by his sister, Mary Kubik, 28, of Farmingdale.
St. Benedict Pastor The Rev. Daniel F. Swift said in his eulogy that only those in the military can understand the shared bond between soldiers.
“It is a mystical power of working for something other than yourself,” Swift said. “They’re a band of brothers that cannot be understood unless you are part of that group.”
Swift said Kubik shared that kinship with a special group of men and women who dedicate themselves to the service of others.
“It’s duty, honor, courage and commitment to each other to the one on your right, and the one on your left, even if it means risking your life,” Swift said. “Our world is much safer because there are people like Ron willing to live this life.”
Kubik’s body was taken to the Brig. Gen. William C. Doyle Veterans Cemetery in Wrightstown for burial.
Kubik was posthumously given the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star and the Meritorious Service Medal by Lt. Gen. John Mulholland on Sunday. He had also received the Combat Infantryman Badge.
Kubik, who enlisted in the Army in March 2007 after attending community college for a few months, served for more than two years as an assistant machine gunner and as a rifle team leader with Company D.
Kubik had transferred from Manchester Township High School to Manasquan High School, where he graduated in 2006.
School officials said Kubik also had a knack for adapting very quickly to new people and surroundings.
“He came into school his junior year,” Manasquan High School teacher John Driscoll said. “He fit in within a week; it was as if he had gone there his whole life.”
Successfully challenged school suspension
The Associated Press
Ronnie Kubik played electric guitar in a punk band during his high school days. He once came to school with a lime-green Mohawk, and a vice principal threatened to suspend him.
Using his own research, Kubik challenged the suspension all the way to the board of education — and won.
The next week, he cut off the Mohawk, having proved his point.
Kubik, of Brielle, N.J., was a 2006 graduate of Manasquan High School, where he wrote for the school newspaper, took acting classes, wrestled and played football. He learned to skydive, enjoyed whitewater rafting and was an avid fisherman.
Kubik was encouraged by his advanced placement teachers to attend law school, but he joined the Army instead. The 21-year-old died in combat April 23 in Logar province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to Fort Benning, Ga.
“He accomplished a lot in a short period of time,” said his father, Ronald Kubik. “I am going to miss my little fishing buddy.”
He also is survived by his mother, Eileen Daly.