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Paul Daniel Karpowich
Sergeant, United States Army
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NEWS RELEASE from the United States Department of Defense 
No. 1317-04 
IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
December 24, 2004 
Media Contact: Army Public Affairs - (703) 692-2000 Public/Industry Contact: (703)428-0711 
DoD Identifies Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of thirteen soldiers supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died December 21, 2004, in Mosul, Iraq, when their dining facility was attacked.  Killed were:

Captain William W. Jacobsen Jr., 31, of Charlotte, North Carolina.  Jacobsen was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), Fort Lewis, Washington. 

Sergeant Major Robert D. Odell, 38, of Manassas, Virginia.  O'Dell was assigned to the United States Army Intelligence & Security Command, Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

Sergeant 1st Class Paul D. Karpowich, 30, of Bridgeport, Pennsylvania.  Karpowich was assigned to the Army Reserve's 2nd Battalion, 390th Infantry Regiment, Webster, New York. 

Staff Sergeant Julian S. Melo, 47, of Brooklyn, New York.  Melo was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), Fort Lewis, Washington. 

Staff Sergeant Darren D. VanKomen, 33, of Bluefield, West Virginia.  VanKomen was ssigned to the 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), Fort Lewis, Washington. 

Staff Sergeant Robert S. Johnson, 23, of Castro Valley, California.  Johnson was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), Fort Lewis, Washington. 

Sergeant Lynn R. Poulin Sr., 47, of Freedom, Maine.  Poulin was assigned to the Army National Guard's 133rd Engineer Battalion, Belfast, Maine. 

Specialist Jonathan Castro, 21, of Corona, California  Castro was assigned to the 73rd Engineer Company, 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), Fort Lewis, Washington. 

Specialist Thomas J. Dostie, 20, of Sommerville, Maine.  Dostie was assigned to the Army National Guard's 133rd Engineer Battalion, Portland, Maine. 

Specialist Cory M. Hewitt, 26, of Stewart, Tennessee  Hewitt was assigned to the 705th Ordnance Company, Fort Polk, Louisiana. 

Specialist Nicholas C. Mason, 20, of King George, Virginia.  Mason was assigned to the Army National Guard's 276th Engineer Battalion, West Point, Virginia. 

Specialist David A. Ruhren, 20, of Stafford, Va.  Ruhren was assigned to the Army National Guard's 276th Engineer Battalion, West Point, Virginia. 

Private First Class Lionel Ayro, 22, of Jeanerette, Louisiana.  Ayro was assigned to the 73rd Engineer Company, 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), Fort Lewis, Washington. 

For further information related to this release, contact Army Public Affairs at 
(703) 692-2000. 



A Pennsylvania man who was among the 22 killed in an explosion at a crowded mess tent in Iraq on December 21, 2004, died only because it was a sneak attack, his stepmother said.

“If he were on a field of combat, this never would have happened,” said Claire Karpowich, stepmother of Sergeant First Class Paul D. Karpowich. “He was ambushed in a mess hall surrounded with his friends. He was glad to be back at Camp Marez because he was out in the field for two weeks. This was the first time he had a hot shower and good meal.”

PD Karpowich PHOTO

Karpowich, 30, grew up in Freeland, in northeastern Pennsylvania’s Luzerne County, but had been living in the Philadelphia suburb of Bridgeport, Pa., and worked as a salesman and consultant with Eye Design in nearby Collegeville.

Freeland Mayor Tim Martin said as the word of Karpowich’s death spread through the small community, the previously upbeat mood was dampened.

“You expect to see people walking down the street wishing each other a merry Christmas,” Martin said. “People were asking, ‘Did you hear what happened?’ It was a very somber mood.”

Karpowich’s death was the first for the Rochester, New York-based 98th Division since its deployment this fall, Maj. Timothy Hansen said.

The non-combat unit, which traditionally trains reservists and active-duty soldiers, hadn’t deployed overseas since World War II. About 725 soldiers were called up to assist with training Iraqi security forces.

Karpowich was a drill instructor with the division’s 1st Battalion, 417th Regiment, 1st Brigade in Pennsauken, New Jersey. Karpowich began his military career as an active-duty soldier with the 82nd Airborne Division in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Karpowich is survived by his wife. He was described by the division as an avid hunter and fisherman.


Posted: 14 January 2007 Updated: 4 March 2007
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PD Karpowich Gravesite PHOTO
Photo Courtesy of Holly, March 2007

PD Karpowich Gravesite PHOTO
Photo Courtesy of Holly, January 2007