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Project Hero: SGT James Witkowski, Silver Star
Posted by: McQ on Saturday, April 29, 2006

We sometimes forget that in Iraq, we're fighting a war with no front lines. That means soldiers who normally aren't thought of as "trigger pullers" are called to act in that capacity. We also tend to forget that a lot of the soldiers in Iraq aren't active duty soldiers. They're instead reservists and National Guardsmen who've been deployed to Iraq in this time of need.

Today we honor a slain soldier who was both a reservist and a combat service support soldier. Serving with 729th Transportation Company, SGT James Witkowski found himself in a position in which he was called upon to protect, by fire, his comrades in the preformance of their duty. SGT Witkowski paid the ultimate price for his comrades, purposely giving his life so others might live:
The family of a U.S. Army reservist who died while saving fellow soldiers in Iraq will receive a Silver Star at a ceremony at the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base.

James Witkowski, known as “Ski” to his buddies, was killed Oct. 26 near Ashraf, Iraq, according to Maj. Gen. Paul Mock.

Witkowski was firing a .50-caliber machine gun mounted on a Humvee that was providing cover for a convoy when an improvised explosive device entered the vehicle. Witkowski threw his body, covering the IED as it exploded and killed him, in an act which saved the lives of others.

Witkowski is only the second Army reservist and the only transporter to be awarded the Silver Star, which is the third highest medal for valor.

Witkowski was in a Humvee M1114 outfitted with a turret and a 2-foot-high shield. He was part of a security detail covering a convoy of trucks hauling supplies to build a new operation base.

Out of 30 soldiers in the convoy that was attacked, he was the only one killed. The other four inside the Humvee suffered superficial wounds. His parents, residents of Surprise, Ariz., will accept the posthumous medal on behalf of their fallen son.
The incredible story of an incredible soldier, may he rest in peace. The other four soldiers who were in that Humvee will never forget the sacrifice "Ski" made for them that day. Nor should his nation.

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13

If you feel so moved, please visit the memorial site for SGT Witkowski and make known your thanks for men such as he.


Previously featured in "Project Hero":

1LT Brian Chontosh: Navy Cross
PFC Daniel McClenney: Silver Star
PVT Dwayne Turner: Silver Star
MSG Robert Collins & SFC Danny Hall: Silver Star
SSG William Thomas Payne: Silver Star
CPT Christoper J. Bronzi: Silver Star
SSG Charles Good: Silver Star
SR AMN Jason D. Cunningham: Air Force Cross
PFC Jeremy Church: Silver Star
SGT Leigh Ann Hester: Silver Star
CSM Ron Riling: Silver Star
CPL Jason L. Dunham: nominee, Medal of Honor
PFC Joseph Perez: Navy Cross
COL James Coffman, Jr: Distinguished Service Cross
1LT Karl Gregory: Silver Star
1LT Brian Stann: Silver Star
MSG Anthony Pryor: Silver Star
TSGT John Chapman: Air Force Cross
MSG Sarun Sar: Silver Star
1LT Jeffery Lee: Silver Star


PROJECT HERO is an ongoing attempt to highlight the valor of our military as they fight in both Iraq and Afghanistan. We constantly hear the negative and far to little of the positive and inspiring stories coming out of those countries. This is one small attempt to rectify that. If you know of a story of valor you'd like to see highlighted here (published on Saturday), please contact us. And we'd appreciate your link so we can spread the word.
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Previous Comments to this Post 


I consider this treason. You are trying to make people hate the war by focusing on the dead. Yet less than one in a hundred of our troops over there die in a year, in fact it’s almost one in a hundred. That’s les than one percent and with an average life expectancy of 75 this means they live longer.

Iraq is a success, the children wave and beg for candy. They love us for giving them freedom, now they have electricity and lots of oil and a free government. Losers like to say it’s tough, but that’s nonsense, they are the same socialists who don’t want to disband the VA syatem and think PTSD is a disease and not a scam.

Written By: republican
URL: http://
Highly suspect "republican" is a leftist moonbat.
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Highly suspect "republican" is a leftist moonbat
Heh ... well left or right, he’s certainly a moonbat.

He considers a tribute to a fallen warrior to be treason.


That’s ok, I consider him to be an idiot.
Written By: McQ
I cannot believe thoose who are making these stupid comments are americans. These soliders are protecting ur freedom. Some one I love dearly was one of the four soliders that were wounded Ski, I thank him for serving our country and dying in the act of saving someone I love.
Written By: P4OT
URL: http://
I would give anything to bring along the republican on my next deployment to iraq. I would like him to experience camp anaconda in all its glory where the sounds of attack sirens and mortar impacts on a nightly basis become a lullaby sending you off to sleep. Or driving a vehicle down msr tampa wondering if every mile you drive could be your last do to a bomb hidden in the road that you will never see. And if for some reason he is lucky enough to survive hell, how bout waking in the middle of the night, if you are able to sleep at all, in a cold sweat. When every creak, pop, or bump has you franticaly searching for your rifle while you crawl around the floor of your home on your belly scared out of your mind. The worst part of this experience is the sudden realization that your safe in your own home. But no I would never serve in any aspect of the military let alone a combat zone with a coward like him. Tell you what pall I’ll go for ya okay. You sleep real good at night ya hear buddy. Just remember, thousands of men and women died, and the ones still alive have a degree of suffering to live with every day, so that you can. I love my country, I would die for it. But i think the freedom of speech is often abused. It is very sad.
Written By: Sgt. Honeycutt
URL: http://

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