From War on Terror News:
Saturday, May 28, 2011
RIP SSgt Joseph J Hamski, TSgt Kristoffer M Solesbee
The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of two airmen who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
The airmen died May 26 in the Shorabak district of Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked their unit with an improvised explosive device.
Staff Sgt. Joseph J. Hamski, 28, of Ottumwa, Iowa. He was assigned to the 52nd Civil Engineer Squadron, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany.
Tech. Sgt. Kristoffer M. Solesbee, 32, of Citrus Heights, Calif. He was assigned to the 775th Civil Engineer Squadron, Hill Air Force Base, Utah.
"He which hath no stomach to this fight let him depart. But we in it shall be remembered. We few, we happy few, we band of brothers!! For he today, that sheds his blood with me, shall always be my brother.” (W.Shakespeare) Rest in peace my Brothers, you have not been forgotten.
Staff Sgt. Joseph Hamski
Posted: 27 May 2011
An Ottumwa native was killed in Afghanistan Thursday while serving in the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Department of Defence announced Friday night.
Staff Sgt. Joseph J. Hamski, 28, died when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.
A second airman, Tech Sgt. Kristoffer M. Solebee, 32, of Citrus Heights, Calif, also died in the attack, officials said.
The incident occurred in the Shorabak district of Kandahar province.
Hamski graduated from Ottumwa High School in 2001. He briefly attended Iowa State University before joining the Air Force, said his grandfather, Ray Hamski, 83, of Duluth, Minn.
"He really found himself in the Air Force” he just blossomed into a super young man, Ray Hamski said. "He was kind of a free spirit in high school and he just wasn't a college man. But he really shaped up in the Air Force. It's a devastating loss.
Hamski was assigned to the 52nd Civil Engineer Squadron, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, at the time of his death.
He previously served at Elgin Air Force Base, Cannon Air Force Base and Kusan Air Base. Hamski worked as an explosives and demolitions engineer and trained others how to detect and deactivate bombs.
"You can be thankful for all the lives he saved," said Jennifer Hensley, Hamski's sister. "We just sorry he was gone so soon."
Hamski was the 82nd person with ties to Iowa to have died in Iraq, Afghanistan or elsewhere from combat, illness or accident since the Iraq war began in March 2003.
Hamski is survived by his wife, Air Force Staff Sgt. Maria Christina Hamski, Spangdahlem, Germany; mother, Mary Ellen Winston, a sixth-grade teacher in Ottumwa; sisters Jennifer Hensley of Shakopee, Minn., and Nicole Friedman of Blakesburg; and his brother Thomas Hamski of Nevada. (source)
Tech. Sgt. Kristoff M. Solesbee
Airman killed in Afghanistan
Friday, May 27, 2011
HILL AIR FORCE BASE — Base officials announced Friday the death of Tech. Sgt. Kristoff M. Solesbee of Citrus Heights, Calif., an airman deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Solesbee, 32, was assigned to the 775th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Flight and died May 26 in the Shorabak district of Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, from wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked their unit.
At a press conference held Friday evening at Hill Air Force base, Solesbee's supervisor Sgt. Steve Hellenbeck said he was very saddened and described Solesbee as energetic and quick-witted.
"He will be very missed," Hallenbeck said.
Col. Patrick Higby said Solesbee had been in Afghanistan since January. It was Solesbee's second combat tour since being stationed at Hill in 2008.
"We're not at liberty to discuss the details of his mission," Higby said. "What I can tell you is he was on an operation to clear a weapons cache."
"His sacrifice and service are not forgotten and he will be greatly missed," Higby said.
Higby praised the Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit, saying that it is one of the most dangerous assignments, but also saves many lives.
"I'm extremely proud of our EOD flight here," Higby said. "They've really gone through some tough times. They're resilient. They're very proud of their mission and again, every day they serve with the mindset of 'we are here to save lives.' When they get hit by an (improvised explosive device), the first thing they want to do is get right back in the fight to keep saving lives."
"He was a good guy, and he will be very missed," said Master Sgt. Steven Hallenback, Solesbee's supervisor.
Hallenback remembers Solesbee as an energetic, quick-witted and very intelligent man. Solesbee told him he wanted to be a 30-year career man and become a chief master sergeant.
"I am very saddened, very saddened," a red-eyed Hallenback said.
Solesbee landed in Afghanistan in January for his second deployment. Solesbee and his unit were responding to clear a weapons cache when they were attacked.
He was scheduled to come home in two to three months. Department of Defense protocol did not allow anyone speaking Friday night to comment on any further details or what family Solesbee left behind.
But his unit was a close-knit community that looked out for each other like family. (source)