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Harvard-Bound Soldier in Iraq Dies in Helicopter Crash
The Harvard Crimson ^ | 04/10/03 | JASON D. PARK

Posted on 04/11/2003 2:32:59 AM PDT by TigerLikesRooster

Harvard-Bound Soldier in Iraq Dies in Helicopter Crash


Contributing Writer

Army Captain James F. “Jimmy” Adamouski, who planned to enter Harvard Business School (HBS) this fall, was killed in a helicopter crash in Iraq last Wednesday. He was 29. Adamouski, who was the first West Point graduate to die in Iraq, was killed along with five other soldiers when the Black Hawk helicopter he was piloting crashed in central Iraq, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Because of his HBS acceptance, Adamouski—an officer of the Third Aviation Regiment of the Third Infantry Division—had not been required to fly his final mission, his family said.

“In his 29 years, he probably did more than most people do in a lifetime,” James Adamouski’s father, retired Army Lt. Col. Frank Adamouski, said. “Jimmy made such a difference in his life and his future was looking so great with the opportunity to attend Harvard. There is no limit to the contributions he could have made to the future of this country.”

He said his son—who planned to teach at West Point after receiving his MBA—set high standards that were the cornerstone upon which he lived his life.

“As he touched people, people sensed that he himself had a high standard,” Frank Adamouski said. “I was asked how the army has changed my son. Well, my son was changing the army. He did this by setting standards so high that everyone he touched raised their standards a little bit as a result of knowing him.”

Frank Adamouski also said that his son’s standards guided his life from a very early age.

On one occasion during his seventh grade year, Adamouski missed his school bus. Rather than compromise his perfect attendance record, he ran home and phoned a cab to drive him to school, according to his father. Before the cab arrived, he scoured his home for spare change.

As the cab drove him to school, James watched the meter climb until it reached the maximum that he could afford to pay, at which point he told the driver that he would walk to school. The driver, sympathetic, turned off the meter and drove him the rest of the way.

According to his father, Adamouski “made a difference in every class, with every teacher.”

At Robert E. Lee High School in Springfield, Va., Adamouski was a star on the soccer team, and he also played football and ran cross country and indoor track. He attended American Legion Boys State between his junior and senior year and was eventually elected president of his senior class.

“One of his teachers went on TV and said that, twelve years after his graduation, the difference he made still remains,” Frank Adamouski said.

At West Point, Adamouski continued to play soccer, making the all-Patriot League, and went semi-professional in Germany for a brief stint.

However, according to Matt T. Wiger—an HBS student who attended West Point with Adamouski—a knee injury Adamouski sustained during his senior year of high school threatened his athletic prospects during his first year at the Academy.

“He was actually cut from the soccer team his plebe year at West Point because of [the injury],” Wiger said. “He came up and played JV next year and subsequently passed up seven or eight guys on a very deep varsity to earn a starting position for his junior year.”

Wiger recalled him as an individual who was able to inspire good graces in everyone he met.

“Jimmy was one of those guys. In the army it’s very hard to be liked by both your commanders and your subordinates. Jimmy was able to balance both. He was loved up and down the chain of command,” Wiger said.

On one occasion, according to his father, Barbara Walters and Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf were on the West Point campus, waiting for cameras to set up. Adamouski walked up and struck a conversation with the two luminaries.

“Twenty minutes later, [Walters and Schwarzkopf] had to be pried away,” Frank Adamouski said.

After graduating from West Point, Adamouski was accepted to flight school in Ft. Rutger, Ala., where he learned to fly Black Hawk helicopters.

After his first assignment to Geibelstadt, Germany, Adamouski went on two deployments to Bosnia and one to Albania during the Kosovo conflict, after which he returned to Ft. Rutger for advanced training.

Last August, Adamouski married his wife, Meighan, before he was deployed to Iraq. At the time of his death, they had lived together for four and a half of the seven months they had been married.

Meighan Adamouski could not be reached yesterday.

According to his father, Adamouski was also a committed Christian and a lay Eucharistic minister in the Catholic Church.

Frank Adamouski said that the family received a letter from their son after his death detailing how he conducted prayer services, scripture readings and served communion for his fellow soldiers in Iraq.

“Since his mother had always wanted him to be a priest, his company started calling him ‘Father Jimmy,’” Frank Adamouski said.

His father said he received a stream of phone calls and e-mails from people whose lives his son had impacted.

According to Frank Adamouski, one message reads, “I served with Jimmy in Germany. He encouraged me to go back to school and now I’m getting my Bachelor’s in the spring. I owe it all to Jimmy.”

Full military burial services for Adamouski at Arlington National Cemetery are tentatively slated for the week following Easter.

TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: death; donaldmayjr; harvardboundsoldier; inmemoriam; iraq; jamesadamouski; michaellalush; westpoint
In the mean time, Harvard is still a liberal commune.

Crimson Poll: Harvard Students, Nation Diverge

1 posted on 04/11/2003 2:32:59 AM PDT by TigerLikesRooster
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Comment #2 Removed by Moderator

To: TigerLikesRooster
A real man. May he rest in peace.
3 posted on 04/11/2003 2:36:46 AM PDT by truthkeeper
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To: truthkeeper
4 posted on 04/11/2003 2:39:53 AM PDT by MEG33
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To: truthkeeper
5 posted on 04/11/2003 2:43:25 AM PDT by DeaconRed
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Comment #6 Removed by Moderator

Comment #7 Removed by Moderator

To: takeashiitebaath
Re #7

I think that he died on Apr 2, 2003.

8 posted on 04/11/2003 2:57:40 AM PDT by TigerLikesRooster
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To: TigerLikesRooster
RIP Captain. May God reward you for an exemplary life, short as it was.
9 posted on 04/11/2003 3:01:23 AM PDT by Movemout
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To: TigerLikesRooster
Army pilot was hero to his family, friends
By Jon Ward

U.S. Army Capt. James F. Adamouski of Springfield wrote a letter to his mother several days before he and five of his soldiers were killed in a helicopter crash in central Iraq Wednesday.

"It was like he was telling me he was prepared for anything that would come spiritually," said Judy Adamouski, 56. "He had great faith."

Yesterday, family and friends remembered Capt. Adamouski, 29, as "an American hero" who loved his country.

"He's somebody who made a difference," his father Frank, 63, said. "It's almost like Alexander the Great — he conquered the world and died at age [33]. ... What his West Point buddies told us is that Jimmy died the way they wanted to die. He died in a blaze of glory, and he's an American hero."

Capt. Adamouski, who administered the Eucharist to his troops in the field, was embarked on a successful professional life both in and beyond the military when he was deployed to the Middle East. He got married seven months ago and recently was accepted to Harvard Business School, where he planned to earn a master's degree in business administration.

He wanted to have children, and he wanted to teach economics at West Point after he returned home from war.

"He was the most amazing man," his wife Meighan, 29, said. "I bet you a million dollars you couldn't find anybody who would say a bad thing about him. ... I'm just fortunate that I got to spend the time I did with him. I was so blessed."

Capt. Adamouski graduated from Lee High School in 1991 and later graduated from the U.S. Military Academy with a degree in engineering management. Capt. Adamouski was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Ga., when he was deployed overseas Jan. 5.

Pentagon officials said they are still investigating the cause of the helicopter crash. As a Black Hawk pilot, Capt. Adamouski logged more than 1,000 hours, but he was not piloting when the accident occurred, Frank Adamouski said. The helicopter crashed near Karbala.

His parents learned of his death Thursday, and flew to Savannah to be with their daughter-in-law. Meighan Adamouski said she has had much support from military wives at Hunter. She said the wives told her that their husbands thought Capt. Adamouski was "the best company commander they've ever had."

"He served his country proudly and he was a leader to his men, so his children would have a safer place to live," she said as she quietly wept.

Capt. Adamouski's parents returned to their Springfield home Sunday. Since then, they have been sharing stories about their son with friends and reporters.

The only son, Capt. Adamouski was the second-youngest of four children. In high school he ran cross-country and played football and soccer.

"Anything with a ball, he loved," said his wife, an elementary-school teacher. "He drove me nuts watching sports, but he let me watch the Home and Garden Network. He was great that way."

Capt. Adamouski was on active duty for the last eight years. He graduated from flight school and was deployed to Bosnia for four tours in the late 1990s.

In his last e-mail message to his wife March 30, Capt. Adamouski said he couldn't wait for the war to end so he could come home. He also talked about the threats from the enemy.

"The conventional Iraqi Army forces are no match, however the crazy Iraqi with a bomb strapped to his chest or a shoulder-fired missile is what scares me the most," he wrote. "However, I am doing fine and I want you to know that."

The day of the crash, Capt. Adamouski's takeoff had been delayed about an hour by some mechanical problems. He was a little depressed that day, but just before takeoff he got an e-mail message from his wife. His soldiers told the Adamouskis that their son's face lit up after he read the e-mail. "God, it's good to hear from home," he told his soldiers before takeoff.

Capt. Adamouski is the third Virginian to be killed in the war against Iraq. Sgt. Michael V. Lalush, 23, of Troutville was killed March 30 in helicopter crash in southern Iraq. Staff Sgt. Donald C. May Jr., 31, of Richmond was one of three Marines killed March 25 when their tank went off a bridge into the Euphrates River.

The family asked that donations be made to the Multiple Sclerosis Society's Central Virginia Chapter. It can be reached at 804/353-5008. Capt. Adamouski's sister, Laurie Griffith, suffers from multiple sclerosis.

10 posted on 04/13/2003 3:10:16 PM PDT by Ligeia
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