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City mourns loss of C.P. soldier

PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2005 5:10 pm
by Big Dog
CROWN POINT | The city's signs say it all.

U.S. Army Spc. Nick Idalski was loved by many and will be missed by more.

On Wednesday and Thursday, stores and offices, including American Legion Post 20, Walgreens and the city's Fire Department displayed messages showing support for Idalski's family, who learned Tuesday that the 23-year-old soldier was killed while conducting combat operations in Ramadi, Iraq. His unit was attacked by enemy forces using small-arms fire and at least two other U.S. soldiers also were killed, according to the military.

Idalski was assigned to the Army's 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division in Fort Carson, Colo.

Idalski's family met Thursday afternoon with a U.S. Army liaison, who told Idalski's stepbrother, Sgt. Kevin Greenberg, he will be able to escort Idalski's body home from Dover, Del.

The Army will pay for the trip and Greenberg, also a member of the Army, will get his orders in the next day or so. Greenberg now is home on emergency leave. In about a week he will go back to Fort Knox, Ky., with his wife, Amber. On Oct. 11, he heads to Iraq again. Talking about his brother Thursday, Greenberg got a little choked up.

"I'll get to sit next to him all the way home," he said. "It's an honor to do."

Mayor Dan Klein and Sheriff Rogelio "Roy" Dominguez are planning to provide police escorts for the family during the drive to and from O'Hare International Airport to pick up Idalski's body. On his return to city limits, Crown Point police and firefighters also will escort Idalski along a designated route to the Burns Funeral Home. The city will release information about the route once it's determined.

Klein said he wanted to meet with the family to offer anything he could to help with their loss.

He released a statement Thursday, saying the city was in mourning. He added, "During this July 4th holiday, where we celebrate our country's independence, I encourage all citizens to make a special effort to thank all servicemen and women."

Dominguez also met with Idalski's family Wednesday night and has assigned Lake County Sheriff's Detective Ponciano Herrera to help the family with arrangements.

Idalski grew up in Crown Point, attending Timothy Ball Elementary School and Robert Taft Middle School. According to family, Idalski wasn't into sports but loved toying with Dungeons and Dragons figures. After graduating from Crown Point High School in 2001, he worked locally for Ability Construction. He trained to be an emergency medical technician, finishing at the top of his class, but never pursued the line of work. In 2003, he started talking about possibly going into the Coast Guard or the Army. The Army won.

After spending time in Korea, Idalski was sent to Iraq in August. Family and friends say they last spoke to Idalski on Father's Day. Idalski was due to come home in August.

[EXTRAS]
City to pay tribute to Idalski
Mayor Dan Klein is requesting that all city departments lower their flags to half staff until sunset July 3. Residents are encouraged to participate, too.
July 3 - On what would have been Idalski's 24th birthday, the city is planning a Special Hero's Tribute in the afternoon at Maplewood Cemetery. A memorial service will take place and a memorial will be placed at the eternal flame.
July 4 - The city's July 4th parade will honor Idalski with a silent tribute. Police and firefighters are being invited to send representatives from across the region to support the family.

nwitimes
6/24/05

C.P. soldier coming home

PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2005 12:31 pm
by Big Dog
CROWN POINT | Honors befitting a hero are scheduled to bring Army Spc. Nick Idalski home Sunday.

Idalski, 23, of Crown Point, was killed in action Tuesday near Ar Ramadi, Iraq.

His brother, Sgt. Kevin Greenberg, flew to Dover Air Force base Saturday afternoon to escort Idalski home.

They're scheduled to arrive at 4 p.m. today at O'Hare where a contingent of officials from Lake County will greet them, said Lake County police detective Ponciano Herrera, who is coordinating arrangements with Burns Funeral Home, Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey Wilbourne and local veterans groups.

The American Veterans Motorcycle Association is scheduled to meet the procession, which will travel from the Skyway to U.S. 41 south, U.S. 30 east and south on Taft Avenue into Crown Point.

Anyone interested in paying their respects to Idalski is encouraged to gather at about 7 p.m. at the War Memorial at Main and Goldsborough streets and line the Crown Point square as the procession enters town, said Dawn Martin, administrative assistant to Mayor Dan Klein.

"We're hoping the community shows up," Martin said.

The procession is scheduled to head east on Joliet Street from the square, then north on Broadway to Burns Funeral Home, 10101 Broadway.

Funeral arrangements are scheduled for Wednesday. The outside funeral service will take place at 11 a.m. at Burns Funeral Home, Herrera said. The Red Cross is helping set up a tent to shield mourners from the heat. The agency also will provide water.

The Rev. Dennis Shock will officiate.

An U.S. Army bugler will play taps, and a delegation from Idalski's Army unit, 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, is coming from Fort Carson, Colo.

Friends can visit with the family Tuesday at the funeral home from 2 to 8 p.m.

Idalski, a Crown Point High School graduate, when his unit was attacked by enemy forces using small-arms fire and at least two other U.S. soldiers also were killed, according to the military.

Idalski is the first soldier from Crown Point to be killed in Iraq.

Mayor Dan Klein has requested all city departments lower their flags to half staff until sunset July 3.

On July 3 - what would have been Idalski's 24th birthday - the city is planning a Special Hero's Tribute in the afternoon at Maplewood Cemetery. A memorial service will take place and a memorial will be placed at the eternal flame.

On July 4, the city's July 4th parade will honor Idalski with a silent tribute. Police and firefighters are being invited to send representatives from across the region to support the family.

nwitimes on Sunday, June 26, 2005