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 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.
We honor you, Damien Ficek.