Friday, April 23, 2010

Army Sgt. Ronald A. Kubik

Remember Our Heroes

Army Sgt. Ronald A. Kubik, 21, of Brielle, N.J.

Sgt. Kubik was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Benning, Ga.; died April 23, 2010 in Logar province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained while conducting combat operations. Also killed was Sgt. Jason A. Santora.

Army Sgt. Ronald Alan Kubik packed a large amount of life in his short 21 years.

"I'm a super-proud father. You couldn't ask for a better son," said his dad, Ronald A. Kubik. "He accomplished a lot in a short period of time. He did what he loved to do."

Kubik was killed in action Friday during combat operations in Logar Province, Afghanistan, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom while assigned to Company D, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment.

"It's a shock and a half," Kubik said of his son's death. "You know there's a chance it can happen, but it really has not quite sunk in."

"He was adventurous and very creative," Amy Kubik said. "In the short time God gave him to us, he made a difference and impacted so many lives."

Kubik's family was on hand at at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware early Sunday to watch as his body was carried off a military plane by an honor guard made up of seven U.S. Army soldiers, in a transfer case draped with an American flag, officials said.

"His ranger battalion is so amazing," Amy Kubik said. "They stayed with us all day, walking us through the procedure. They sat with us for hours. We are all just like a giant family right now."

Kubik's body was placed into a waiting vehicle and driven to the Charles C. Carson Center for Mortuary Affairs at Dover Air Force Base, where he will be prepared for burial.

Kubik, who enlisted in the Army in March 2007 after attending Brookdale Community College for a few months, served for more than two years as an assistant machine gunner and as a rifle team leader with Company D.

Kubik was on his third deployment in support of the war on terror with one previous deployment to Iraq and one to Afghanistan. He was treated by unit medical personnel and evacuated to the nearest treatment facility where he later succumbed to his wounds, Army officials said.

Kubik transferred from Manchester High School in Ocean County to Manasquan High School where he graduated in 2006.

"He came into school his junior year," said Manasquan educator John Driscoll. "He fit in within a week; it was as if he had gone there his whole life."
An avid electric guitarist who was a part of a metal band, Kubik joined his high school football and wrestling teams, wrote a column for the school newspaper, took an acting class, and liked whitewater rafting and skydiving.

Among his most noted high school accomplishments was getting the district's Board of Education to change its policy and allow him to keep his Mohawk haircut.

"Distracting haircuts were against school policy," said Harry Harvey, his drama and Advanced Placement English teacher. "He proved them wrong, that it wasn't a distraction."

But shortly after, Kubik cut his hair short, saying he had proved his point.

His eldest sibling, Mary, said she was not surprised when her brother joined the military. "He was always the one who wouldn't stop pushing you until he knew you were pushing to be your best," she said. "He was that instigator, that motivator."

His commendations include the Ranger Tab, Combat Infantryman Badge, and the Parachutist Badge. He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star and the Meritorious Service Medal.

"Sgts. Kubik and Santora were Ranger leaders of the highest caliber and brothers-in-arms who died fighting together," said Col. Dan Walrath, commander of 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, in a prepared statement. "Their actions exemplify the fighting spirit of the Army Rangers and we will be eternally grateful for the examples they gave us in life."

Army Sgt. Ronald A. Kubik was killed in action on 4/23/10.

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