Staff Sergeant Mark A. (Tony) Wojciechowski A Marine to the “Corps.”
SSgt Wojciechowski was born March 10, 1984 to Army parents Mark F. Wojciechowski and Teresa A. Wojciechowski (nee Kroner) (nka Dillinger), at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio. SSgt Wojciechowski was killed while conducting combat operations against anti-Iraqi forces in the Al Anbar Province in Iraq on April 30, 2009. He was 25 years old.
Tony attended Glen Este High School in Union Township, Clermont County, Ohio for his freshman and sophomore years. Tony then transferred to Live Oaks Vocational School for his junior and senior years where he studied auto mechanics. Tony was an exceptional student and was offered an apprenticeship, but declined the offer due to his determination to join the Marine Corps; something he wanted to do for many years.
SSgt Wojciechowski enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2001. He was 17 years old and still a senior in high school. He chose Infantry as his primary Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) and Security Forces as his secondary MOS. Upon completion of boot camp at Paris Island, South Carolina, he received orders to Naval Station Bremerton, WA to serve with the Marine Corps Security Force Command. Upon completion of that tour, he received orders to Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina where he re-enlisted after having served only three years. Upon re-enlistment, Sgt. Wojciechowski executed a lateral move to the 2336 MOS (Explosive Ordinance Disposal) – otherwise known as the “Bomb Squad”. He was then transferred to Elgin Air Force Base, Florida to the EOD school for seven demanding months. Sgt. Wojciechowski completed and graduated his school near the top of his class on August 2, 2006. His EOD class started out with 48 students, with only 9 graduates to include him.
Upon graduation from EOD school, Sgt Wojciechowski received orders to Okinawa, Japan, for the period of September, 2006 until September, 2008. From Okinawa, he was deployed to Iraq and served a six-month tour from February 2007 to September 2007. Tony also trained in the northern mountains of California where he attended a Cold Weather Survival School and the SERE Course (Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape). SSgt Wojciechowski was promoted to his current rank on August 1, 2008. SSgt Wojciechowski loved everything about the Marine Corps and was eager to learn as much as he could about anything of interest to him. SSgt Wojciechowski’s last duty station was Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, where he stayed for a short five months before his second deployment to Iraq. He departed for his second deployment in Iraq in February, 2009 and was killed in Action on April 30, 2009.
SSgt Wojciechowski’s awards include the Purple Heart, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Valor, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with a Gold Star in lieu of his second award, Combat Action Ribbon, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.
Tony’s hobbies included the great love of scuba diving, where he hoped to become a Master Diver, snow skiing, working out and staying fit, golfing and billiards. He was planning a trip to Australia to scuba dive in the Barrier Reef after this tour in Iraq. Tony was brilliant, fun, strong, full of life and a great friend to many – at home and across the United States.
Tony is survived by his mother, Teresa Dillinger, his stepfather, Tony Dillinger and his sister, Tiffany Dillinger. He is also survived by his grandparents, David and Judy Grose, his aunt, Susan Kroner and nephew, Cameron Forrer, all of Cincinnati, Ohio. Tony also left loving family in New Jersey, his father, Mark F. Wojciechowski, stepmother Dawn Wojciechowski, stepsister Courtney and niece Gabrielle and half brothers Justin and Brandon, his grandmother, Margo Wojciechowski, and grandfather, Frank P. Wojciechowski (deceased), as well as aunts and uncles, Gary and Kathleen Losinski; Diana Rasizer and Scott Rasizer; Angel Watson; and cousins, Tracy, Andrew, Thomas, Rebecca, Joseph and Mark James; great-grandfather, Andrew Haborak. Tony is also survived by his step-family in Cincinnati – grandparents Jim and Kathi Dillinger of Williamsburg, Ohio and Arlene Braunwart of Mayslick, Kentucky and many step aunts, uncles and cousins from this area, as well as many great friends scattered across the United States.
Tony, we love you. We miss you. Forever you will be in our hearts and may you forever rest in peace.