America's Battalion Honors Fallen Maryland Marine
(April 7, 2011)
DWYER, Afghanistan (4/2/2011) - Marines with 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine
Regiment, gathered to honor a fallen Westminster, Md., hero in Marjah,
Afghanistan, March 27. |
Staff Sgt. James Malachowski, the former
platoon sergeant for 3rd Platoon, Fox Company, 2/8, was a true Marine
who fought with distinction and valor.
Malachowski began his
Marine Corps career June 20, 2003. He successfully completed his
Military Occupational Specialty school and earned the MOS mortarman.
Malachowski was in the midst of his fourth deployment, having already
completed three combat tours in Iraq. He gave his life, March 20,
serving his country and the Marines around him.
Malachowski was the epitome of the Marine I want to be: smart and
cunning, stern, but fair,” explained Lance Cpl. William Saunders, a
rifleman with the company and a Birmingham, Ala., native. “He taught me
how to conduct myself in a professional manner and how to better improve
myself both physically and mentally.”
“Staff Sgt. Malachowski, in
my mind, is what every platoon sergeant should be like: a mentor, a
leader and a counselor,” added Lance Cpl. Bradley Piorkowski, one of
Malachowski's junior Marines.
Piorkowski said his former platoon
sergeant took pride in mentoring and teaching his Marines new things.
“He was always pushing us to learn, and when necessary, teaching us
that individual actions didn't just effect us, but the [entire]
platoon,” explained Piorkowski, an Orlando, Fla., native.
Cpl. Robert Simmons, a rifleman in Malachowski's platoon, described the
close relationship Malachowski had with his Marines.
always making sure we were doing [well] and didn't need anything,” said
Simmons. “When he found out that my wife was going to give birth while
we were [deployed], the first thing he would ask when he saw me everyday
was how she was doing.”
During the seven months Piorkowski served
under Malachowski, he came to see his late platoon sergeant as a
“He went out of his way to be there for us,”
said Piorkowski. “It didn't matter what it was; he was there. When the
other Marines would talk with him, he always smiled and talked like he
had known us since we were kids.”
Malachowski's personal awards
include the Purple Heart Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement
Medal with one gold star, the Combat Action Ribbon with one gold star,
and the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal with one bronze star.
Malachowski is survived by his wife and two children.
By USMC Cpl. Marco Mancha
Regimental Combat Team 1
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