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    Staff Sgt. Wosika Field Dedication

    Patriot Guard Displays Flags

    Photo By Sgt. Joe Roos | Patriot Guard Riders display flags during the Staff Sgt. James Wosika Jr. Field...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Joe Roos 

    Minnesota National Guard

    Minnesota National Guard

    ST. PAUL, Minn.— On a melancholy, rainy morning, Aug. 18, friends and family of Staff Sgt. James Wosika Jr. would not have their spirits dampened and were undaunted in going forward to honor their fallen brother at a baseball field dedication ceremony.

    "We're Wosikas," said Nicole Murtha, who was Jim's girlfriend while he was deployed. "The rain doesn't scare us. The rain doesn't even affect us."

    Those remembering Jim wore T-shirts with his picture on them to memorialize him. The shirts however, were not printed on the common, white background. They were printed on cotton T-shirts that were Jim's favorite color: pink.

    "Jim is upstairs now. He's lookin' down at us, just laughin' his head off (at us) for standing in the rain," said Rick Buckley, a friend to the family and former coach of Jim. "That's the way Jim was: just a loving, joking kid."

    As the rain soaked pink and other colored shirts, those who had gathered for the great cause of honoring their friend, Jim, wore them. Soldiers of Company B, 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry who served with Jim while they were in Iraq were present for the field dedication, along with friends, family and dignitaries including Brig. Gen. Gerry Lang and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman.

    Staff Sgt. Wosika's Army Commendation medal was presented to his parents, James Sr. and Kathleen Wosika by 1/34th Brigade Combat Team Commander Col. David Elicerio. All of the present Co. B Soldiers stood in formation at attention to orders during the presentation.

    The ceremony wrapped up with Sgt. John Kriesel, who was injured in Iraq serving with Jim's unit, throwing the commemorative first pitch.

    As time passes and children and parents come and go from the field, they will always remember the sacrifice that Staff Sgt. James Wosika Jr. made so that they can have all of their safeties and freedoms, including the freedom to safely play a neighborhood game of baseball.



    Date Taken: 08.18.2007
    Date Posted: 08.23.2007 22:58
    Story ID: 11955
    Location: US

    Web Views: 350
    Downloads: 257