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Minnesota National Guard
Staff Sgt. Wosika becomes an Honorary Firefighter

American Soldiers, firefighters, policeman have many common characteristics. They are often found to have an extreme dedication to the mission and their battle buddies. Making sure the mission is completed and making sure they never leave anyone behind.

Recently, a group of St Paul Firefighters from Local 21 decided to honor one Minnesota National Guard Soldier, who they wanted to call their own, during their Local Installation party on Jan 17th.

Staff Sgt James Wosika a member of the Minnesota Army National Guard was planning on becoming a St Paul Firefighter, like some of his relatives. After returning from a 22-month deployment in Iraq, he planned on becoming a St Paul firefighter and work for the community and along side some of his uncles.

While on deployment in Iraq, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Staff Sgt Wosika was assigned to B Company, 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry, based in Crookston, Minn. He was on patrol in Fallujah with other Soldiers from his unit, when he was struck by an improvised explosive device and died Jan 9th, 2007.

It is all of our loss, not just the loss of the family, but the loss of all of St Paul when James died to serve our country,"�said St Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. "We are honor in the city of St Paul that we have men and women who are willing to do that."

He saw the opportunity of joining the guard and becoming a firefighter as a chance of making a small difference in this world, said one relative of Staff Sgt Wosika during the installation party.

The family of Staff Sgt Wosika was given an honorary fireman's helmet and certification in remembrance of their fallen son and as much as the firefighters were concerned, their own.

Written by Lynette Hoke,
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs
January 17, 2008
Download photos

A group of St. Paul Firefighters from Local 21 honored fallen Soldier Staff Sgt. James Wosika from B. Co., 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry during their Local Installation party on Jan. 17th.

Photos by Sgt. Lynette Hoke
Minnesota Air National Guard Public Affairs

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