Military News 9-16-04

Ryan R. Bruzek

has been promoted to the rank of Corporal (E4) in the United States Marine Corps. He was awarded this promotion because of his Meritorious Service in Iraq. The son of David and Elizabeth Bruzek of Montgomery, he is a 2001 graduate of Montgomery-Lonsdale and attended the Arts Institute International Minneapolis for one year before leaving for the Marine Corps on November 11, 2002.

He is currently serving in Fallujah, Iraq, with the 1st Marine Division, Alpha Company and has been stationed there since February 28. He is scheduled to return to Camp Pendleton, CA, in early October, where he will be reunited with his wife, Kimberly.

Corporal Bruzek states that fighting still continues in Iraq and he encounters danger as his platoon goes out on missions and patrols the countryside, although the farmers they meet are friendly and often give them fresh baked bread. “Some of it is like our bread and some of it is flat bread. In exchange, they appreciate getting water from the soldiers,” he said.

He had a narrow escape in July when the Amphibious Amtrak he drives and maintains hit a landmine. He said the explosion was loud and they were in the midst of dense black smoke. They were scared that they would be ambushed by the Iraqi insurgents.

“I thought I was going to die. But I guess it wasn’t my time,” Bruzek said. He sustained minor injuries and was back out in the field the next day. The Amtrak was damaged and he has been patrolling in a Humvee since then.

Even though he has been in harm’s way while he has been serving his country, he said he does not regret joining the Marine Corps and would do it all over again.

He would like to thank all of his family and friends and the American Legion, VFW, and Lions Club for the care packages, cards, and letters he has received showing their support for the Armed Forces overseas.

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