- NATO Kosovo Force
- Operation Enduring Freedom
- Operation Freedom’s Sentinel
- Operation Inherent Resolve
- Operation Iraqi Freedom
- Operation New Dawn
- Operation Octave Shield
- Operation Odyssey Lightning
- Operation Spartan Shield
- U.S. Africa Command Operations
- U.S. Central Command operations
- The People Behind The Sacrifice
Marine Sgt. Mark T. Smykowski
Died June 6, 2006 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom
23, of Mentor, Ohio; assigned to 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; killed June 6 while conducting combat operations in Zaidon, Iraq.
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Memorial service for Marine held in mom’s front yard
EUCLID, Ohio — A service for a Marine killed in Iraq last week was held in his mother’s front yard, where about 60 friends and neighbors gathered to honor Sgt. Mark Smykowski.
His brothers, fellow Marines Darren and Kenny Smykowski, saluted as an American flag was raised and then lowered to half-staff during the memorial Tuesday in this Cleveland suburb.
Their 23-year-old brother was killed June 6 when a roadside bomb struck his armored Humvee. He will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
“This is the saddest day in my life but also the proudest,” Smykowski’s mother, Diana Ross, told the crowd gathered on her lawn. “My son’s death was not in vain. No Marines’ deaths are in vain.”
Some came to pay their respects even though they did not know Smykowski, who was assigned to 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, based in Camp Lejeune, N.C.
“Once a Marine, always a Marine,” said Frank Montana, 85, a World War II veteran.
Smykowski joined the Marines with a group of six friends from his high school in Mentor, including his brother Darren. Kenny Smykowski followed them into the military last summer.
— The Associated Press / Information from: The Plain Dealer