U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 647-09
August 24, 2009
DoD Identifies Army Casualty
The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Staff Sergeant Andrew T. Lobosco, 29, of Somerville, New Jersey, died August 22, 2009, in Yakhchal, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
23 August 2009:
Staff Sergeant Andrew T. Lobosco, 29, was killed August 22, 2009, while conducting a dismounted patrol in the vicinity of Yakhchal, Afghanistan, in support of combat operations while serving with Company C, 2nd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne).
He deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in July 2009 as a member of the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force – Afghanistan. This was his second deployment in support of the Global War on Terror. He was a Special Forces Medical Sergeant.
Lobosco a native of Somerville, New Jersey, enlisted into the U.S. Army January 2004 as a Special Forces candidate. He completed the Special Forces Qualification Course January 2007 and earned the coveted “Green Beret.”
Lobosco’s military education includes the Warrior Leader’s Course, Basic NCO Course, Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape Course, Basic Airborne Course, and Special Forces Qualification Course.
His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, non-commissioned officer professional development ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge, and the Special Forces Tab.
Lobosco is survived by his mother Bonnie Lobosco, father Robert Lobosco and sister, Lisa Lobosco of Bridgewater, New Jersey.
25 August 2009:
Staff Sergeant Andrew T. Lobosco, 29, was a dedicated soldier with a big heart and someone who just stood out as special, according to those who knew him.
Lobosco, a Somerville native and Immaculata High School graduate, was killed August 22, 2009, in Yakhchal, Afghanistan while on patrol in support of combat operations, according to U.S. Army Special Forces Command. A member of the Green Berets, Lobosco was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Lobosco is survived by his mother, Bonnie Lobosco, father Robert Lobosco and sister, Lisa Lobosco. They could not be reached for comment.
Lobosco graduated from Immaculata in 1998. Kristen Kostes, a fellow member of that graduating class, said Lobosco “was not a person you easily forget” and “had such a big heart.”
“He was big on honor. Even in high school he was very disciplined. He was all about mind, body and soul,” Kostes said.
Kostes, a Bedminster resident, said she kept in touch with Lobosco via Facebook and other means, and talked to him just before he visited his twin sister in Minnesota last month and before he was deployed to Afghanistan.
“He was just having so much fun, and he was so excited about going back too, he said it was going to be like his vacation,” Kostes said. “The army was his life. He loved everything about it.”
Lobosco participated in collection drives known as “missions” in each of his four years at Immaculata. He was also a member of the art club, Students Against Destructive Decisions and a group known as the Antioch Team that led a mentoring retreat. He participated in the spring musical during his senior year.
“He was a well-respected student and an outstanding young man, and certainly our community is grieving, but at the same time, we're very proud of him for his service to the country,” said Pierce Frauenheim, the athletic director, head football coach, and an assistant principal at Immaculata.
Vivian Gleeson, the school's director of crisis management and plant security, said Lobosco was one of her counselees as a sophomore just when Gleeson was transitioning to the guidance department after several years in the art department.
“I remember him being spirited and alert, kids could rally around him,” Gleeson said. “In his sophomore year, which is when I had him, he was just beginning to awake into his own abilities.”
Both Frauenheim and Gleeson recalled Lobosco's talent for art and drawing. Gleeson said “some kids just stand out.”
“When you see his picture, it just brings a smile because you remember he was just that kind of kid, a happy kid,” Gleeson said.
Lobosco — a Special Forces medical sergeant — enlisted in the U.S. Army in January 2004 as a Special Forces candidate. He earned the distinction of being a Green Beret in January 2007. He was in his second deployment in the war on terror, and his awards and decorations include the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
“The army was his life,” Kostes said.
Lobosco's profile on the social networking Web site MySpace shows his personal side. His interests include “anything that gets my heart racing and adrenaline flowing.” Lobosco's favorite music ranged from alternative rock to hip hop. He didn't waste time on television and professed that “you can never read too much!” He liked “any and all horror movies, even the really corny b-rated ones.”
According to Kostes, Lobosco updated his Facebook page on August 20 with a post that stated “what you are is what you have been, and what you will be is what you do now.”
Kostes said Lobosco had been living outside of Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Kostes also remembered Lobosco living in Bridgewater during high school.
Somerville Mayor Brian Gallagher said borough flags would fly at half staff in honor of Lobosco.
August 28, 2009:
Funeral services are planned next week for the Green Beret and Somerville native who was killed in Afghanistan on August 22, 2009.
Staff Sergeant Andrew T. Lobosco, 29, was killed in the vicinity of Yakhchal while on patrol in support of combat operations. The 1998 graduate of Immaculata High School was in his second deployment in the war on terror and was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Lobosco is survived by his mother, Bonnie Lobosco, his father, Robert Lobosco and his sister, Lisa Lobosco.
The visitation hours be Monday, August 31 and Tuesday, September 1 at Higgins Home for Funerals in Watchung, with a funeral mass at Blessed Sacrament Church in Bridgewater on Wednesday, September 2, according to the funeral home. Lobosco is expected to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia the following week.
Lobosco has a special connection to the church on Washington Valley Road. Rev. Msgr. Eugene Prus, a pastor at the church, said Lobosco served as an altar boy there during his grammar school years.
“He was a very active young man, the kind of kid who would get involved in everything, didn't want to be sitting on the sidelines,” Prus said.
More recently, Lobosco, knowing he was going to be deployed to Afghanistan, approached his father, a member of the church as well as the Knights of Columbus, about a collection drive of crutches and other such items for people in Afghanistan, according to Prus.
The Knights and a Boy Scout group at the church worked together on the drive, and it “mushroomed,” Prus said.
“It mushroomed so much that there literally were thousands of crutches that were donated and several hundred wheelchairs,” Prus said, adding that a local trucking company volunteered to haul the donated goods to Fort Bragg in June.
Members of the Immaculata High School community and others may be making their presence known at Blessed Sacrament on Wednesday to show their appreciation to Lobosco and his family.
John Hack, the school's director of development and alumni relations, sent an e-mail to alumni, past parents and current parents about Lobosco's death and funeral arrangements and asked recipients to consider “lining the streets” the morning of the service to honor the soldier. Hack said he expects participants to gather near the church and perhaps the street, depending on the number of people.
“We need to give him a hero's welcome,” Hack said in the e-mail.
Other groups have also expressed interest in joining them, Hack said.
A caisson carries the remains of Staff Sergeant Andrew Thomas Lobosco during burial services at Arlington National Cemetery Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Army honor guard members carry the remains of Staff Sergeant Andrew Thomas Lobosco during burial services at Arlington National Cemetery Wednesday, Sepyember 9, 2009
A bugler plays taps during burial services for Staff Sergeant Andrew Thomas Lobosco at Arlington National Cemetery Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Brigadier General Michael RePass, U.S. Army Special Forces, presents a flag to Robert Lobosco, the father of Staff Sergeant Andrew Thomas Lobosco during burial services at Arlington National Cemetery Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Army Secretary Pete Geren, right, meets with Lisa Lobosco, second from left, the twin sister of Staff Sergeant Andrew Thomas Lobosco during burial services at Arlington National Cemetery Wednesday, September 9, 2009.
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard