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Minnesota National Guard
Staff Sgt. Wosika Field Dedication

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 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 weren't 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 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 of loving, joking kid"

As pink and other colored shirts were soaked by the rain, they were worn by those who had gathered for the great cause of honoring their friend, Jim Soldiers of Co 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 honorable 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

By Cpl Joe Roos, Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs
Aug 18, 2007

Aug. 18, Staff Sgt. James Wosika Jr. Field Dedication Ceremony

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