Saturday, June 30, 2012

Defense Department Identifies Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced Friday the deaths of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
They died June 27, in Maidan Shahr, Wardak province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked their vehicle with an improvised explosive device.

1st Lt. Stephen C. Prasnicki, 24, of Lexington, Va., was assigned to 4th Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Warner Barracks, Bamberg, Germany.

Prasnicki was a highly recruited high school athlete and played football at West Point, serving as a backup quarterback and playing at free safety as a senior.

He had just arrived in Afghanistan Sunday.

He leaves behind his wife, Emily, his parents and siblings.

Sgt. James L. Skalberg Jr., 25, of Cullman, Ala., was assigned to 4th Battalion, 1st Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, Fort Bliss, Texas.

After graduating from Nishna Valley High School in 2005, Skalberg played football at Peru State College in Nebraska before enlisting in the Army in February 2007. His first duty station was in Germany, according to the Iowa National Guard.

As a soldier, Skalberg earned many awards and qualifications including the Bronze Star Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Army Achievement Medal, the Combat Action Badge and the Air Assault Badge.

He has been posthumously awarded the Purple Heart.

 Skalberg and his wife, Jessica, met as teenagers. Their son, Carter, is nearing his first birthday.

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