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

Mark A Noziska

Papillon, Nebraska

August 30, 2010

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
24 Army 1st Lt

1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division

Fort Carson, Colorado

 Killed in Malajat, Afghanistan, when insurgents attacked their unit with an improvised explosive device.

Attached is a photo of 1LT Mark Noziska (right) and I at his commissioning ceremony. I had the honor of mentoring him and receiving his first salute.

From KRDO  krdo.com 09/01/10:

2nd Lt. Mark Noziska Killed In Action In Afghanistan
Soldier Killed Remembered As Someone Who Always Had A Smile

By: Tak Landrock Reporter 
POSTED: 9:02 pm MDT September 1, 2010

FORT CARSON, Colo. -- Friends of Army 2nd Lt. Mark Noziska laugh Wednesday night while watching videos of him on his Facebook page. “I think he would put a smile on anybody’s face,“ said Emily Smith, a close friend.
They said the 24-year-old was full of life, and always had a great smile. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen him sad or upset. Even if he was in a bad situation, he could turn it around and make you smile,” said Smith.
Noziska was killed earlier this week while on patrol in Afghanistan. A roadside bomb killed the platoon leader, four-weeks after he was deployed from Fort Carson.
“He was very patriotic and he felt like it was his duty to serve,” said Adriana Fink, a friend who lived down the street from him.
Noziska joined the Army after graduating from the University of Nebraska in Omaha. His family told an Omaha TV station that he decided to join the Army when he was a sophomore in high school after the Sept. 11 attacks.
Fink, who talked with him last week, said that Noziska even joked while he was in the desert. “I think his biggest concern was that he didn’t know when his next shower was going to be.”
All of his friends said that he was full of energy. He was an avid outdoorsman who loved to hike the Manitou Incline. “He could run up that thing like in five minutes, too, if he wanted,” said Fink.
Her husband, who deployed at the same time, called Fink to deliver the bad news on Monday. “It’s always seems to happen to the people that are the ones who try to cheer you up. Those are always the first ones to go for some reason. A lot of people loved him and he could have come back, “ said Fink crying.
Noziska’s family told KETV that he wanted to work his way up the ranks to General. Friends tell NEWSCHANNEL 13 that he was to be promoted to first lieutenant on Thursday, four days after his death.

From The World-Herald omaha.com 09/01/10:

Neb. native killed in Afghanistan
By Matt Wynn
When a chaplain and captain knocked on Doreatha Noziska's door late Monday night, she knew her worst fears had been realized.
“It was devastating,” she said Tuesday from her home in Grand Island, Neb. “They wanted to come in, and I told them no, because I knew.”
Her son, Army 2nd Lt. Mark Noziska, was killed Monday in an explosion in Afghanistan. The Papillion-La Vista High School graduate was 24 years old.
Because two soldiers were killed in the attack, the Army is waiting to confirm the death until DNA testing is completed.
But Mark Noziska's mother isn't holding out any hope. 

“Their chances of making a mistake are nil to none. His captain was there when it happened, and he knows,” she said.

Family members gathered Tuesday in Grand Island. Mark's brother, Troy, had driven from Grand Island to La Vista to deliver the news in person to his sister, Tracy. It was 1 or 1:30 in the morning when he called her from her front lawn to say they needed to talk. 

She, her boyfriend and two sons all drove back with Troy to grieve as a family.

“It hasn't really hit home,” said Troy Noziska. “It's like a nightmare for us.”

Mark Noziska's family remembers him as someone who lived life to the fullest.

Troy Noziska remembers his brother going waterskiing — still wearing the leg cast from a basketball injury just days earlier. 

Mark Noziska was born in Grand Island. His family moved to La Vista before his ninth grade year. 

He graduated from Papillion-La Vista High School in 2004, the same year he earned the title of “Mr. Monarch” in the student council's main fundraiser.

It was during high school he found his passion for the military, his mother said, and enlisted in the Army National Guard. 

He graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2008 with a degree in criminal justice, then joined the Army.

Last year, he bought a house in Colorado Springs. The outdoor enthusiast could see Pike's Peak from his porch, his mother said, and took his family to the summit when they visited last year.

Tracy Noziska said she hopes her older son, Calvin, will remember his uncle.

“He was always making people laugh and smile,” she said. “He was just an awesome guy. I hope my kids look up to him.”

The family is making plans to go to Dover, Del., to claim the body.

From KHAS-TV 5 khastv.com 09/17/12:

Life of soldier Mark Noziska honored at Friday service
by Rachel Lake
Story Created: Sep 17, 2010 at 5:55 PM CDT
Story Updated: Sep 17, 2010 at 6:01 PM CDT 
Never let them see you sweat. That was one of the favorite phrases of First Lieutenant Mark Noziska. Friday, family and friends said goodbye to the Central Nebraska soldier.

Family members said Mark loved his country so it was no surprise when he joined the Army National Guard 6 years ago.

In July, he was deployed to Afghanistan only to be killed by a car bomb a few weeks later.

But it's Mark's life that family and friends honored Friday. And they're not alone. Many–who never even met Mark–are showing their support.

The colors red, white and blue billowed in the wind as Patriot Guard Riders and community members alike stood tall for fallen soldier Mark Noziska.

"These men and women are willing to sacrifice their lives for my freedom," said Jack Jovier, Lexington Area Patriot Guard. "Just appreciate anyone who's willing to put that uniform on, that's a hero to me."

A uniform worn by Sharene Maske's son Lance Corporal Nathan Salpas. He's partly why she was there Friday.

"Because I could understand what the family is going through, I feel bad for them. Our prayers are with all the soldiers over there," said Maske. 

Outside the doors of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, signs of support continue.

"It was wonderful, we appreciate the support of the patriot guard," said Mark's brother Troy Noziska. 

Support for a man proud of his country and his state...

"We did the 24 balloons of course, 12 in Army color, 12 in Nebraska color, cause he was 24 and those were his two loves, army and NE football," said Troy. 

And he loved life.

"We always went camping and fishing I mean, watching Nebraska football games just so many memories that'll last forever," said Troy.

But there's one memory that stands out in particular.

"Before he left we always asked him if he was scared, he said no he was willing to die for his country if he had to. We're very proud of him," said Troy.

First Lieutenant Mark Noziska has been laid to rest at West Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery.

A memorial fund will be established in his name. Contributions may be directed to the family.

2 Carson soldiers identified as IED victims

The Associated Press

The Defense Department on Sept. 2 identified two soldiers who were killed in a bomb blast in Afghanistan on Aug. 30.

First Lt. Mark Noziska, 24, of Papillion, Neb., and Staff Sgt. Casey Grochowiak, 34, of Lompoc, Calif., died in Malajat, Afghanistan, after an improvised explosive device went off, officials said.

Noziska’s father, Phil Noziska, said his son had planned to make a career out of the Army and had been in Afganistan less than a month.

His mother, Dee Noziska, said she is proud Mark Noziska wanted to serve his country, but he will be missed.

Noziska and Grochowiak were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, out of Fort Carson, Colo.

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