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Families of our fallen have created writeups about their loved one. You can view them by clicking on a name in the drop-down box or scroll down to find the soldier's name you are looking for. If you would like to post your write up for one of our fallen please contact us.

Sgt. 1st Class Brent A. Adams

04/29/1965 - 12/1/2005

Son of Bill and Pam Adams and Barb Jack Bernard
Sgt. 1st Class Brent Allen Adams, born April 29, 1965, in Lancaster, PA

Killed in action in Ramadi, Iraq on December 1, 2005. He was a member of the Army National Guard, 2nd Brigade Combat Team deployed to Iraq in June of 2005. He was in the service for 17 years. Brent was born with a head full of dark hair and plump little cheeks. He was a happy baby with a smile that followed him into adulthood. That smile became know by his friends and fellow soldiers as the "Adams' Smile."

Like his father, Brent was always curious and developed a love of books and a thirst for knowledge. He was an avid outdoorsman, enjoying backpacking, hiking and camping. Right before his deployment father and son enjoyed a two week backpacking trip in England along the Cleveland Way. Since Brent’s death it has been told to his family that Brent referred to this trip as "the trip of a lifetime". He also loved music of all kinds from heavy metal to big bands and symphonies. He was an avid Penn State, Pirates, and Steelers football game watcher. He knew the bible well and was active in his church. Brent was President of his Church Council prior to his deployment to Iraq.

Brent also enjoyed trips to the beach with his family. He waited a long time to marry and become a father. In 1999 he married becoming a father in 2001 to Daniel Louis Adams. Daniel was the center of his life and completed Brent. He was a very devoted hands-on father, doing everything for his son from changing diapers, to staying up with him when he was sick. Daniel simply completed Brent and they were inseparable.

On the day that Brent was killed we found out that he volunteered for this particular mission to give his men a break from all the work they were doing. He was assigned to the Marines for the day to help build a new base for the Iraqi Army. On the return trip his vehicle was struck by a rocket fired by insurgents.

We have heard stories from his fellow soldiers about how he conducted himself while in Iraq selflessly helping others, being a great leader to his men. His character, his sense of humor, and his knowledge of God and the Bible and always sharing it with anyone who would listen has brought us comfort and made us even prouder than we already were. They call him a Hero - to his family , he already was and forever will be.

Bill and Pam Adams

 

Sgt. Michael Adam Marzano

Proud Gold Star parents are Al Marzano and Margy (Marzano) Bons

Michael wanted to be a marine, just like his dad, ever since he was a young boy. he was active in many sports, including his passion for boxing which gave he gave up a chance of going to the 2000 Olympics, to join the Marines. He graduated from boot camp in 1999 and was stationed in camp Lejeune N.C. He had 2 deployments to Okinawa Japan during his 4 years of active service. After completing his 4years, he moved to Arizona to be closer to his mother, and joined the Bulk Fuel Reserve Base. He attended Glendale Community College for a semester wanting to be a history major. December 2004, while visiting his dad, he received a call from the 3/25 out of Brook Park Ohio and volunteered to go to Iraq. He returned to Phoenix January 3rd 2005, then left January 19th for 29 Palms California for additional training. He arrived in Iraq early March and was promoted to Sgt (His goal like his Dad) on April fool's day in Haditha, Iraq. On May 7th, while trying to free hospital in Haditha from insurgents, Michael was killed by an exploding van filled with IED's. There were 4 casualties during that ambush and many wounded. Michael lived his life with laughter and pride. He is remembered for that laughter and pride. Your Dad and I are so very proud of you and miss you terribly. We salute you as one of the Few, the Proud, our Hero. Semper Fidelis, our son. Semper Fidelis.

Love, Mom and Dad.

SPC Ross A. McGinnis

Proud Gold Star Parents are Thomas E. and Romayne S. McGinnis.
Ross Andrew McGinnis was born June 14 (Flag Day), 1987 at Meadville, PA. His family moved to Knox, PA when he was 3, and lived there until he left for the Army in June 2005.

Ross graduated from Keystone Senior High School in 2005. He attended Clarion County Career Center (Vocational-Technical School) in his senior year in the automotive classes, a field which he discovered that he enjoyed tremendously. He wanted to continue his Automotive tech training while in the Army after his deployment. He sang in the High School Choir, and was active in the Boy Scouts up until he was about 14 years old. He was a member of St. Pauls Lutheran Church in Knox, PA. He enjoyed music (both Rap and Country, believe it or not), BMX biking, and fast cars. He had many friends, each of which considered themselves to be his best friend.

Ross joined the Army on his 17th birthday in the Delayed Enlistment Program, and was inducted into the Army on June 8th (or 9th, I'm not sure). He entered the Army as a Private First Class by completing various requirements prior to his induction. He went through basic training and Advanced Infantry Training

 

at Fort Benning, GA and then was assigned to the 1st Batalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division in Schweinfurt Germany. He was deployed in August of 2006 and went to Kuwait for 2 weeks of training and then to Iraq, assigned to the Blue Spaders Combat Team. From his then until his death on Dec. 4, 2006, he participated in over 200 missions in and around Eastern Baghdad.

For his bravery and exemplary conduct during a heated battle with insurgents on November 6, 2006 he was recommended for a waiver of time required for promotion to Specialist. On the morning that he died, his commanding officer, Captain Mike Baka, wrote up the recommendation for his promotion which was to be effective Jan 1, 2007.

On December 4, he was manning his gunner's turret, in a convoy of 6 Humvee's traveling down a narrow Street in eastern Baghdad when an insurgent tossed a fragmentation grenade onto his vehicle. He tried to deflect it, but it got past him and entered the battle-locked vehicle which had 4 more men inside. He had yelled "Grenade!" when it landed, but the men inside the vehicle asked where it was. He responded, "It's in the truck!" and moved to exit as he was trained to do. However, he realized that the men inside were trapped and unprotected from the coming blast, so he dropped into the hatch and quickly pinned the grenade between his back and the radio mount, absorbing all the lethal fragments and dying instantly. Only one of the other four men were hospitalized as a result of the blast, with damage to his arm and leg requiring extensive surgery.

Ross was awarded the Silver Star for his bravery that day, as an interim award, and recommended for the Medal of Honor by his commanding officer.

His fellow soldiers remember him as a comedian who even managed to make Drill Sergeants laugh, and who could lift the mood of any situation with his humor. And they all agreed that he was a true friend to those who knew him.

 

Sgt. Carl J. Morgain

Carl James Morgain, 40, of Butler died Sunday May 22, 2005 in Balad, Iraq.
Born Sept. 22, 1964, in Butler, he was a 1982 graduate of Knoch High School and was an electronic technician at T.W. Phillips Gas & Oil Co. He was a faithful hunter. Mr. Morgain was a member of the Cabot United Methodist Church, the William H. Miller Lodge 769 F&AM and Butler American Legion Post 117.

He was active in the Army from 1981 to 1985 and served as a communications technician at the White House and at the presidential retreat at Camp David under President Ronald Reagan. He also was active in the White House Contingency Support of FEMA Facilities. He was awarded the Presidential Service Award and the Army Achievement Medal in 1985.

In June 1998, he joined the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, Co. A, 1st Battalion, 112th Infantry HG Unit in Butler. He served as communications technician and then converted to an infantry fire team leader. He received the Strom Thurmond Award for outstanding NCO leadership. He was deployed June 30, 2004, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Posthumously, he received the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star and the Combat Infantry Badge. He was a proud soldier and gave the ultimate sacrifice for the love of his country.

 
Surviving are his wife, Janice Sankey Morgain, whom he married July 8, 1995; a stepson, Zachary Macurak of Butler; a daughter, Madison Morgain of Butler; his mother Carol Morgain of Butler; a sister, Mrs. Scott (Janet) Waag of Slippery Rock.


SFC George Anthony Pugliese

18 Sept. 1966 – 28 Sept. 2005

Son of Dolores Parker, Honesdale, PA
Husband of LeeAnne Pugliese, Carbondale, PA

George, the youngest of three brothers, was born and raised in Queens, New York City. He participated in many sports, had a paper route and enjoyed his childhood just like any typical American boy.

He and his family moved to Honesdale, PA in 1986. Under a deferred enrolment while in high school, he joined the regular army. Unfortunately, a prior sports related injury resulted in a medical discharge during basic training. Not to be discouraged, after surgery, therapy and a lot of exercise, he again entered the military, joining the PA National Guard in 1991. He was assigned to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, Co. B, 1-109th Infantry.

While in the Guard, he was employed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for 8 years as a corrections officer both at SCI Dallas and SCI Waymart. He met and married Lee Anne from Archbald. They are the parents of 3 children,
Nicholas, Jonathon and Avianna. His daughter was born in 2002 during his first deployment in Bosnia.

During his 14 years in the Guard he advanced not only in rank but also in responsibility: Section Leader and Squad Leader. Early in his training it was realized that his grasp of military tactics was outstanding. He was asked, and accepted the assignment, to serve full time and teach Tactical Logistics at the Ft. Indiantown Gap training school. He was encouraged to go to Officers’ Candidate School, and join the regular army full time. He declined the suggestion, stating that teaching was not in his future. He would rather be with ‘his boys’ the ones he felt responsibility for. This decision ultimately determined his destiny.

Achieving the rank of SSG, he was the commander of a Bradley Fighting Vehicle, Bravo 12. In June 2005, his unit was again deployed, this time to Iraq. Just 3 months later on Sept. 28th near Ar Ramadi, Iraq, they were protecting and guarding a civilian bridge repair crew. The Bradley was destroyed by buried IED’s and set afire by a grenade attack. The 3 man crew and 2 other soldiers onboard were all killed instantly and perished in the vehicle.

At 39 years of age, George died serving his country, protecting his family and believing that his service would help to make the world a better place to live in. He was a truly decent and honorable human being. It was only after his death that I found out how much he was loved and respected, not only by his friends but his co-workers and fellow soldiers as well. He was awarded the Bronze Star and promoted to Sgt. 1st Class posthumously.

And so now, I write this tribute to my son. I am so proud to be able to call him MY HERO.

Fly with the angles, soar with the eagles my son, until we all meet again…………..

George is also survived by his 2 brothers: Stephen of Honesdale, PA and Michael of Kingston, N.Y., his aunt Sylvia Parker, Honesdale, PA and several nieces and nephews.

Sgt Nicholas A. Tomko, killed in action, 11-9-03 Baghdad Iraq

307th MP Company
Survived by his Dad Jack A. Tomko and his son Ethan Bailey Tomko

While on patrol, as a humvee gunner, his squad came under enemy fire. On returning fire he was fatally shot, receiving one round to the chest area. Nick had joined the Army reserves in 1999 and than joining the 307th MP Company, New Kensington, PA in December 2002. He had also served a year in Bosnia. Nick had followed in his Dad's footsteps as a MP; Jack had served from 1966 to 1970 in the U.S. Marines as an MP. Nick's goal was to pursue a career in Law Enforcement. He was very proud to serve and fight for the freedom of others that were less fortunate. Not a second, minute of everyday, does not go by that you're not with me. You are surely missed but you will never be forgotten. Thanks my son: Jack Tomko, a proud Fallen of a Fallen Hero!


 

SSG David Veverka
David was born on September 15, 1980 in Greenville, PA. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, and playing sports. He graduated from Jamestown High School in
1999 where he was a standout basketball player.

David enlisted in the Army in July 1999 and attended basic training and advanced individual training at Fort Benning, GA. Upon completion David attended airborne school and then was assigned to Charlie Company, 3rd US Infantry Regiment, The Old Guard. While assigned to Charlie Company, David participated in many joint force ceremonies to honor the arrival of visiting heads of state. In early 2001 David became a member of the United States Army Drill Team, the premier specialty unit within the Regiment. After three years of dedicated service, David decided to pursue his education.

David attended the University of Maine and was a member of Bravo company, 3/172 Infantry, Maine National Guard. David deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in March 2006. David was killed in action on May 6, 2006, from injuries received from an IED near Bagdad.

David was posthumously awarded a Bachelor’s of Science degree in wildlife ecology, magna cum laude. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery and his awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Airborne Wings, and the Bronze Star with Valor. The new maintenance facility at Ft. Myers, VA was dedicated to David in May 2007.

Proud Gold Start parents Ron and Judi VeVerka
and David was the son of Carol and Jeff Polley


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