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- Operation Allies Refuge
- Operation Enduring Freedom
- Operation Freedom’s Sentinel
- Operation Inherent Resolve
- Operation Iraqi Freedom
- Operation New Dawn
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- Operation Odyssey Lightning
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- The People Behind The Sacrifice
Marine Cpl. Nicholas K. Uzenski
Died January 11, 2010 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom
21, of Tomball, Texas; assigned to the 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Okinawa, Japan; died Jan. 11 while supporting combat operations in Now Zad, Afghanistan. Also killed were Staff Sgt. Matthew N. Ingham and Cpl. Jamie R. Lowe.
3 Recon Marines killed in Afghanistan
OCEANSIDE, Calif. — Three Japan-based Reconnaissance Marines died Monday during combat operations in Afghanistan’s Helmand province, defense officials announced Wednesday.
Killed were: Staff Sgt. Matthew N. Ingham, 25, of Altoona, Pa.; and Cpls. Jamie R. Lowe, 21, of Johnsonville, Ill., and Nicholas K. Uzenski, 21, of Tomball, Texas.
The three Marines were assigned to 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, which is based in Okinawa, Japan.
Pentagon officials did not release information about their deaths. The NATO command reported that six NATO troops died Monday in separate incidents in Afghanistan, including three U.S. service members killed during a firefight with militants during a patrol in southern Afghanistan.
Ingham’s parents told the Altoona Mirror, a Pennsylvania newspaper, that their son, who was married and had done two combat tours in Iraq, played football and loved motocross.
“We lost a family member and a great Marine,” Maj. John South, 3rd Recon Battalion’s executive officer, said in a statement.
First Sgt. Ingo Rasch, Ingham’s company first sergeant in Afghanistan, said, “Seniors, peers and juniors valued his opinion and guidance. He was one of the finest staff (noncommissioned officers) I have ever served with.”
Ingham, who had enlisted in July 2002 and was promoted to staff sergeant in April, had earned several military awards and decorations, including the Combat Action Ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, NATO Medal ISAF, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
Lowe enlisted in August 2007 and arrived on Okinawa a year later. His awards and decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, NATO Medal ISAF, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
“He was driven to be the best, and it showed in everything he did,” Maj. Jordan Walzer, the corporal’s officer-in-charge in Afghanistan, said in the statement.
Rasch said Lowe “had a huge impact on the morale of his company and his platoon.”
Uzenski enlisted in January 2008, and his awards include the National Defense Service Medal, NATO Medal ISAF and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. “Marines fed off his energy and loved being around him,” Rasch said.
Services set for Uzenski
The Associated Press
BOZEMAN, Mont. — Memorial services are scheduled for a 21-year-old Marine killed in combat operations in Afghanistan.
The Department of Defense says Cpl. Nicholas K. Uzenski died Jan. 11 in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan.
A wake will be held Jan. 21 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Dahl Funeral Home in Bozeman. A memorial service will be held at 9 a.m. Jan. 22 at the Dahl Funeral Chapel, followed by burial at the Sunset Hills Cemetery with full military honors.
The wake and burial are both open to the public.
Family and friends are asking people to line Bozeman’s Highland Boulevard and Main Street with flags Friday as the casket is taken to the cemetery.
Uzenski’s family in Bozeman include his father, William T. Uzenski, his stepmother, two sisters and three half-brothers. His mother lives in Franklin, N.Y.
Mont. town stands still as Marine laid to rest
The Associated Press
BOZEMAN, Mont. — Family and friends of a 21-year-old Marine who was killed in Afghanistan gathered at his funeral Jan. 22 and spoke of his faith, his competitive nature and his smile.
The Department of Defense said Marine Cpl. Nicholas K. Uzenski died Jan. 11 during combat in the Helmand province of southern Afghanistan. His body was returned to Montana on Thursday.
“Compared to his smile alone, I have accomplished nothing,” said Uzenski’s father, William.
The Marine’s sister, Kaitlin, read his obituary aloud to the standing-room-only crowd at the funeral home in Bozeman, and photos of Uzenski as a little boy flashed above the casket one by one.
Bozeman Mayor Jeff Krauss described the Marines as the “tip of the spear.”
“We know that pride in the accomplishment will never replace the man we lost, but the pride of the city and state is all we can offer,” he said.
Hundreds of people holding American flags lined the streets between the funeral home and the cemetery, where the military offered a 21-gun salute and played taps near Uzenski’s grave.
Uzenski was assigned to the 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Okinawa, Japan.
Smile was calling card for Uzenski
The Associated Press
Family and friends of Nicholas K. Uzenski say the 21-year-old Marine from Tomball, Texas, was known for his faith, his competitive nature and his grin.
“Compared to his smile alone, I have accomplished nothing,” Uzenski’s father, William, said at his son’s funeral in Bozeman, Mont., where some of his family lives.
The military said Uzenski died Jan. 11 during combat in Helmand province, Afghanistan, but it said it would not release details because he was on a sensitive reconnaissance mission. He was assigned to Camp Schwab, Japan, and had deployed to Afghanistan in November.
He graduated from Franklin Central High School in Franklin, N.Y., in 2006. Then he enlisted in the Marines two years ago and studied at the School of Infantry-West in California.
“He was a guy you naturally gravitated toward because you loved being around him,” said Maj. Jordan Walzer, who was Uzenski’s officer in charge in Afghanistan. “We will sorely miss our brother.”
He was scheduled to return home in June.
Survivors include his mother, who lives in New York, and as well as his stepmother; and two sisters and three half-brothers.