Wednesday, May 13, 2009
His Star Has Turned From Blue to Gold
A Lake in the Hills soldier serving in Afghanistan died Sunday, the U.S. military reported Monday.
Spc. Lukasz D. Saczek, 23, was assigned to Company D, 1st Battalion, 178th Infantry based in Woodstock. He died as a result of a non-combat-related injury that remains under investigation, said Maj. Brad Leighton, public affairs director of the Illinois National Guard.
Saczek had a 6-week-old child and was married to Kathryn Saczek, Leighton said. He also is survived by his mother and father, Ewa and Dariusz Saczek.
Saczek graduated from Steinmetz Academic Centre in Chicago in 2005 and enlisted in the Illinois Army National Guard in July 2006.
It was his first deployment, and he served in Operation Enduring Freedom.
He was one of 55 soldiers who left Woodstock on Aug. 24 for two months of training before a yearlong deployment in Afghanistan. He died in the Nangarhar province, Leighton said.
"As we continue through this difficult deployment, each and every soldier is a vital family member to this National Guard force," said Maj. Gen. William Enyart, adjutant general of the Illinois National Guard. "Spc. Saczek, like all our soldiers, made the decision to volunteer to serve his country in a time of war and will be remembered."
The soldiers from Delta Company, 1st Battalion, 178th Infantry comprise one of about 30 units with the 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team. The unit provides security for reconstruction teams that help the Afghan government build roads, hospitals, government buildings and other infrastructure.
Three soldiers from Saczek's unit recently were killed in Afghanistan on March 15 in a roadside bomb attack: Sgt. Robert Weinger, 24, of Round Lake Beach, Sgt. Christopher Abeyta, 23, of Midlothian, and Spc. Norman Cain III, 22, of Mount Morris.
Northwest Herald 05/11/2009