Kolasa

Kolasa
Kolasa
Army CPL
White Lake Township, MI
05/31/2006
Age: 
22
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Memorial Location: 

VFW Post 4156
321 Union Lake Road
White Lake, MI

Died of non-combat related causes while manning a guard tower in Baghdad, Iraq. Assigned to 704th Main Support Battalion, 4th Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Ft. Hood, TX.

Alexander J. Kolasa was born May 14, 1984, the youngest of three children born to David and Kathy Kolasa. Alex’s siblings are sister Jennifer and brother David “Tony”. As the baby of the family, he felt the need to work harder to “stand out”, sometimes to the dismay of the authority figures around him.

Alex attended Lakeland High School and graduated in 2003. Alex enjoyed playing baseball, hockey and running cross-country in high school. He was passionate about fishing. While in school, Alex worked part-time at McDonald’s. He also worked at Belle Tire and managed the local Pizza Express. He had a knack as a mechanic and loved working on cars. He would buy used cars and tear them apart in his mother’s driveway, fix them up, put them back together, so he could sell them and move on to the next project. He liked to consider himself his own special kind of MacGyver. If he needed a part and didn’t have one he would make it.

In March 2004, Alex made the decision to enlist in the U.S. Army and in June he traveled to Fort Jackson, South Carolina to attend Basic Training and Advanced Infantry Training (AIT). All of his tinkering with cars paid off, as he became a Light Wheel Vehicle Mechanic, repairing light trucks and Humvees. In December 2004, he was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, home of the 4th Infantry Division.

On June 6th, 2005, Alex married Cari McClellan, a young lady he had met while working at McDonald’s in high school. Six months later Alex deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Corporal Kolasa’s duties had him assigned to Fort Rustamiyah, a forward operating base (FOB). He would also spend much of his time at Camp Hope where the Iraqi Army was being trained to take over operations in the area. Alex would tell Cari and his family that he was seeing up close what was being accomplished and was proud to be a part of it.

On May 31, 2006, Corporal Alexander J. Kolasa died while manning a guard tower north of Baghdad. Corporal Kolasa’s awards and decorations include, the Bronze Star Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terror Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon and the Army Overseas Service Ribbon.

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