July 1, 2017

HERO WEEK DAY 7 – Rosa and Smykowski

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Angel Rosa, 21, of South Portland, Maine; assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, died March 13, 2007 from wound received while conducting combat operations in al Anbar province, Iraq.

 

Angel is remembered as an outstanding athlete as well as a dedicated leader and dear friend. He was never afraid to challenge himself, to push himself beyond his limits, at whatever he chose to do.

 

His Aunt recalls that “a lot of things came easy to him. But he was never a braggart. He was as humble a young man as you will ever meet.” She further says, “Angel will be remembered as a man who touched everyone’s lives, a man who inspired us to be better all around…”

 

 

US Marine Corps Sergeant Mark T. Smykowski, 23, of Mentor, OH was killed on June 6, 2006 while conducting combat operations in al Anbar province, Iraq.

 

He was part of a group from his high school, all of whom enlisted in the Marine Corps together, known as the Mentor Seven. Their relationship was much deeper than simple friendship….it was BROTHERHOOD.

 

Smykowski chose to become a reconnaissance man, one of the most difficult jobs in the military service. Among other things, recon involves scout swimming; small-boat operations; close combat skills; helicopter and submarine insertion and extraction techniques; and assault climbing.

 

“His heart was huge” says one of his fellow Mentor Seven. “He was an example of what a young person should be as far as appreciation of freedom and all that it stands for.”

 

After his funeral, young men approached Smykowski’s mother and asked if they could do anything for her. “Yes”, she said. “Live like there’s no tomorrow. Make your mother proud. So if something happened tomorrow, you’ll have no regrets.” That’s how her son lived.

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