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Marine Lance Cpl. Blaise A. Oleski

Died April 8, 2009 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

22, of Holland Patent, N.Y.; assigned to 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died April 8 while supporting combat operations in Now Zad, Afghanistan.

Served as supportive figure in friends’ lives

The Associated Press

From the mountains of Afghanistan, Blaise A. Oleski wondered what he would do when his enlistment period was up in a year. He talked of becoming a firefighter or perhaps a rock-climbing instructor. He wanted to hike the Adirondack Trail.

In one of his last calls, Blaise told his mom of all of his plans. “He said Mom, I’d need five lifetimes to do all the things I want to do,’ ” Theresa Oleski said.

Oleski, 22, of Holland Patent, N.Y., died April 8 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province. He was a 2004 high school graduate and was assigned to Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Those who knew Oleski described him as a kind and compassionate man who joined the military out of principle. A wristband he wore at the time of his death read “fighting for freedom.”

They also spoke of how easily he made friends and the emotional support he so often provided to those around him.

“You’re not allowed to have a breakdown,” he told friend Amanda Santamour once during his deployment. “I need you to be resilient. But if you really need me, I’m on my way. I just need to find a camel.”

He also is survived by his father, Paul.

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