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Thursday, March 03, 2005

Lance Cpl. Andrew W. Nowacki 

A northeast Ohio Marine on his second tour of duty in Iraq was killed by a roadside bomb, the military and his family said.

The Department of Defense on Monday confirmed that Lance Cpl. Andrew W. Nowacki, 24, of South Euclid, died Feb. 26 in Babil Province, Iraq. He was assigned to Marine Forces Reserve's 2nd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, based in Erie, Pa.

Nowacki died Saturday while serving as a gunner on a Humvee that was protecting a truck convoy south of Baghdad, said his mother, Sheila Nowacki of Painesville.

"He's been in Iraq more than he's been home the last two years," she said. "But he was really OK with being over there because he saw the oppression and the cruelty that had happened to the people there.

"He thought a lot of the Iraqi people and he was willing to go back because he thought we were doing so much good."

Nowacki graduated from Brush High School in the Cleveland suburb of Lyndhurst in 1998, and enlisted in the Marine Corps reserve the following fall.

Nowacki was a police officer in Grand River, about 25 miles northeast of Cleveland.

Police Chief Robert Antonelli called Nowacki an "ideal police officer." "Andy was an exceptional peacemaker," Antonelli said Monday at a news conference. "When we lose a loved one like Andy, it tears part of our hearts out."


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