Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

Damien Thai Ficek

Pullman, Washington

December 30, 2005

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
26 Army Sgt

Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 161st Infantry Regiment

Spokane, Washington

Died in Baghdad, Iraq, when his patrol was attacked by enemy forces using small arms fire.

For Some Memorial Service Snapshots, Click photo below:

Memorial Service for Damien Thai Ficek - Photos by Q Madp

January 10, 2005

Statement by Sergeant Damien T. Ficek's Family (Donna and Danny Vian)

We are devastated and heartbroken by the death of our son Sergeant Damien T. Ficek. He meant everything to our family; he was a loving son, husband, best friend and brother to Dustin and Friend to anyone that met him. We loved him very much and will miss him greatly.

Damien graduated from Beaverton High School in June 1996. He served four years in the active army and joined the Washington Guard in 2002. He was a student at Washington State University in the athletic training education program, he was on the presidents honor role and also the recipient of an academic scholarship.

We wish the world could have known him as we did. He was bright, brave and courageous. His commitment to others was something we could all learn a little bit from. He was a giving soul who had time for everyone. He left an impression on anyone he met and he held so mush promise for this world. It was this promise of a better world, full of peace that led him to serve in the National Guard.

Damien’s commitment to his military duty was very important to him. He wanted to serve his country and do his part for the war in Iraq. Although, he has made the ultimate sacrifice he would want you to know that this was part of his duty. He would want you to know that the guard was very good to him. He would want you to know that the guard provided everything he needed. He would want you to know that the guard protected him as much as they could.

Please take time out of your day – every day – until each one of them are home, to remember our soldiers, their families and the sacrifices they are making.

We have been deeply moved by the many expressions of support from our friends and family. We appeal now to everyone to afford us the privacy to grieve in peace and to come to terms with our loss.
Media Release Jan 2005, www.washingtonarmyguard.com 

The Washington National Guard regrets to announce the death of one of its members serving on federal active duty in Iraq.

Sergeant Damien Thai Ficek, 26, an infantryman assigned to Company C, 1st Battalion, 161st Infantry, a part of the 81st Brigade Combat Team, died December 30th, 2004 as a result of hostile action near Baghdad.

Washington Governor Gary Locke issued this statement; “I praise and honor Damien for answering the call of duty, and I salute him for making the ultimate sacrifice in defending our security, our freedoms and our way of life," said Gov. Gary Locke. "I know how much he will be missed and my heart goes out to his wife and family.”

SGT Damien Ficek

SGT Ficek graduated from Beaverton High School, Beaverton, Oregon in June of 1996 and enlisted in the United States Army in August of 1996, serving with 2nd Ranger Battalion at Fort Lewis, Tacoma WA. He remained on active duty with the Army until June of 2000 and was extremely proud of his service as a Ranger. In July of 2002, he enlisted in the Washington Army National Guard and was activated and deployed for service in Iraq in February of 2003.

SGT Ficek was an accomplished athlete and student. In High School Damien was selected as Co-Captain for both his wrestling and football teams. At Washington State University, where he was a student in the Athletic Training Education Program, Damien was outstanding performer; having made the President’s Honor Roll on several occasions and had been granted an academic scholarship. Damien was guided and influenced by many families and friends including grandparents with whom he spent a great deal of time throughout his life.

Major General Timothy Lowenberg, the Adjutant General of the Washington National Guard, and Brigadier General Oscar Hilman, Commander of the 81st Brigade Combat Team, along with the entire Washington Military Department express their heartfelt sympathy to Sergeant Ficek’s family and loved ones.

SGT Ficek is survived by his wife Kyla, parents Donna and Danny Vian, of the Portland, OR area, Dean and Suzanne Dibble, of the Vancouver, WA area, two brothers, Dustin and John, in-laws Richard and Lorri Gellerson as well as a large extended family and friends.

Damien Thai Ficek Damien passed away December 30th, 2004, while serving his country in Iraq. Born January 1, 1978 in Portland, OR, Damien is survived by his loving wife Kyla, devoted parents Donna and Danny Vian, Dean and Suzanne Dibble, in-laws Richard and Lorri Gellerson, and brothers Dustin Andersen and John Dibble, as well as a large extended family and friends. Damien graduated from Beverton High School and served four years as an Army Ranger at Fort Lewis, WA. Prior to leaving for Iraq he was a student at Washington State University where he was working towards a degree in athletic training. Damien was an adoring husband, a loyal friend, and a devoted son and brother. he was a dutiful soldier and served his country honorably. Damien will be terribly missed by all who knew him. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Damien Ficek Memorial Account at any Bank of America Branch. Proceeds will be used to create a memorial in honor of Damien's memory. 
Published in the News Tribune (Tacoma) on 1/8/2005. 

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