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Army Staff Sgt. Kevin D. Grieco

Died October 27, 2008 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

35, of Bartlett, Ill.; assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 122nd Field Artillery, Illinois Army National Guard, Sycamore, Ill.; died Oct. 27 in in Baghlan, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when a suicide bomber detonated explosives as he was preparing to enter a building. Also killed was Sgt. Nicholas A. Casey.

Ill. soldier, a former sailor, dies in Afghanistan

The Associated Press

BARTLETT, Ill. — An Illinois Army National Guard soldier has been killed in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan, the Department of Defense said Tuesday.

Sgt. Kevin D. Grieco, 35, of Bartlett died Monday of wounds sustained when a suicide bomber detonated explosives as Grieco prepared to enter a building in Baghlan, Afghanistan, the defense department said.

Sgt. Nicholas A. Casey, 22, of Canton, Ohio, was killed in the same incident. Casey was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), in Fort Bragg, N.C.

Grieco was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 122nd Field Artillery with the Illinois Army National Guard in Sycamore. His unit deployed to Afghanistan about four months ago, according to the Illinois Army and Air National Guard.

“When we lose an Illinois National Guard Soldier, it’s like losing a brother or sister,” Maj. Gen. William Enyart, adjutant general of the Illinois National Guard, said in a statement. “On behalf of the men and women of the Illinois National Guard, we offer our deepest condolences to the Grieco family and friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.”

Grieco graduated from Waynesville High School in Missouri in 1992 and earned a bachelor’s degree at Aurora University in 2004. He enlisted in the Illinois Army National Guard in December 2006 after 13 years in the Navy.

He was married with two children.

Grieco is the 19th casualty for the Illinois National Guard since operations in Afghanistan and Iraq began.

Army Sgt. Kevin D. Grieco remembered

The Associated Press

Kevin D. Grieco met his future wife in 2003 after returning from a deployment to Spain. They met while line dancing.

“As soon as he walked in, I said, ‘I’m going to dance with this man,’” said Rashmi Grieco. “I asked him to dance, and he said, ‘No, I don’t think so.’ And then he saw me dancing with his best friend, and he said, ‘OK, maybe I’ll try.’”

Grieco, 35, of Bartlett, Ill., died Oct. 28 in Baghlan, Afghanistan, of wounds from a suicide bomb attack. He was assigned to Sycamore, Ill.

“He was extremely dedicated to his military career,” his wife said. “He would keep telling me that even if he could die for his country, he would love to. And he would not hesitate to die twice, three times.”

He was a 13-year Navy veteran. Wanting to become an officer and see more action, he enlisted in the Illinois Army National Guard in 2006.

Grieco was an avid outdoorsman and worked as a contractor for a lawn-mowing company. In 2004, he earned a degree in recreational park administration from Aurora University.

He also is survived by two children, Joshua, 4, and Angeli, 2.

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