Adam T McKiski
Cherry Valley, Illinois
August 7, 2008
supporting combat operations in Anbar province,
|Cpl. Adam McKiski, 21, a 2005 Jefferson High School graduate and a three-year Marine, died Thursday Aug 7th 2008 in a military vehicle accident outside Fallujah, Iraq.
Details surrounding McKiski’s death have yet to be confirmed by the military.
“They’re not giving us a lot right now,” said McKiski’s sister, Emily. “They’re coming to our house (tomorrow) to do the arrangements with us. We want to know everything.”
McKiski’s death came two days after he and his wife, Jamie, celebrated their second wedding anniversary, and two weeks before McKiski was to return on leave to the Marine Corps Base Camp in Pendleton, Calif., where Adam and Jamie resided.
McKiski joined the corps shortly after he and Jamie, his high school sweetheart, graduated from Jefferson.
“It was always his dream,” Jamie said Friday from California. “From the day I met him, that’s what he wanted to do. Join the Marines. Both of his grandfathers were in the service. He looked up to them. His grandfather, Herb McKiski, is like his hero. He wanted to be like him, and his dad was his best friend. He looked up to his dad for everything.”
The young couple were married by a judge in San Diego shortly before Adam’s first tour of duty.
Adam and Jamie returned to Rockford a year later to celebrate their first wedding anniversary by renewing their vows before their family and friends at Riverside Community Church, followed by a reception at the Hilton Garden Inn.
Emily, 26, said her brother developed the attributes of a Marine long before he joined the corps.
“He was very physically fit,” she said. “He had not an ounce of body fat on him. He didn’t always smile. He kind of had a smirk, but he was just so kind. He was very worried about our parents with the divorce. He tried to be with Mom and Dad.
“He loved to snowboard. He had a Camaro, which he totaled, and a Trans Am. It was the most beautiful black car, and they sold it because the gas prices were too much in California.”
Lance Cpl. Josh Alston, 22, of Georgia, who also is stationed at Camp Pendleton, said he lost a good friend.
“I worked alongside of Adam for two years now as an artillery mechanic. He was a stand-up guy. Adam was the guy everyone wanted to be around because of his attitude.”
Jamie added, “He just brought out the best in everybody. He loved his family and his friends. He was my best friend.
“He treated our dog, Kaylee, like it was our kid. We’d go hiking with her, take her to the beach.”
McKiski was on his second tour of duty in Iraq at the time of his death. His four-year commitment would have come to an end in July 2009.
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