Plainfield - A soldier from the Moosup section of town was one of six people killed Tuesday during an operation in Afghanistan.
Army Staff Sgt. Frank E. Adamski III, a 26-year-old infantryman, died of wounds he suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with small-arms fire in Kunar province, the Defense Department said Thursday.
Sgt. 1st Class Ofren Arrechaga, 28, of Hialeah, Fla.; Spc. Jameson L. Lindskog, 23, of Pleasanton, Calif.; Staff Sgt. Bryan A. Burgess, 29, of Cleburne, Texas; Pfc. Dustin J. Feldhaus, 20, of Glendale, Ariz., and Pvt. Jeremy P. Faulkner, 23, of Griffin, Ga., were also killed Tuesday during the ongoing operation.
They were assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, Ky. The operation they were a part of has resulted in many enemy casualties and netted large weapons caches, according to the Army.
"It is unimaginable that Connecticut is mourning the death of yet another soldier lost in battle," Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said in a statement Thursday.
Earlier in March, two other Connecticut soldiers were killed in Afghanistan. Army Sgt. 1st Class Dae Han Park, 36, of Watertown, and Army Spc. David R. Fahey Jr., 23, of Norwalk were both there for the first time with units assigned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington.
Staff at Plainfield High School remembered Adamski Thursday as a well-liked, hard-working student who was always smiling. He was patriotic and looked forward to serving his country, said Principal James Worth.
Patrick Smith, the head football coach, recalled how Adamski broke his leg and couldn't play football his senior year. He had been a running back and a defensive back.
"He still wouldn't miss practice and he was there on the sidelines at the games, in the huddle acting as if he was playing with his teammates," Smith said. "He was very much a competitor. That's one of the things I remember most."
The other thing Smith remembers is Adamski's smile.
"He simply had a love for life and a passion for whatever he was doing," Smith said. "In high school it was playing football, studying and making friends. Later on it was his dedication to the military."
A 2002 graduate, Adamski enlisted March 24, 2005, six days before his 21st birthday. He was killed the day before his 27th birthday.
He is survived by his wife, Danielle, 24, and 1-year-old daughter, Victoria. They lived in Clarksville, Tenn., not far from Fort Campbell, after Adamski was assigned to the post in April 2009.
Adamski is also survived by his father, Frank Adamski II of Voluntown, and mother, Susan Adamski of Westbury, N.Y. Frank Adamski II and Danielle Adamski traveled to Dover Air Force Base to meet the casket Thursday. They were notified of his death by the Connecticut National Guard late Tuesday night.
Tonight in Voluntown, friends of Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Tyler O. Griffin will hold a candlelight vigil on the town green at 7 p.m. to mark the one-year anniversary of the day Griffin was killed in Afghanistan. The organizers say they reached out to Adamski's father to invite him, and they plan to mention Adamski's sacrifice at the event.
Adamski received numerous awards and decorations, including the Bronze Star, Army Commendation, Army Achievement Army Good Conduct, National Defense Service, Afghanistan Campaign, Iraq Campaign and the Global War on Terrorism Service medals.
Malloy ordered the Connecticut and U.S. flags to fly at half staff in Adamski's honor until the funeral. The funeral arrangements have not yet been determined, according to the National Guard. Adamski is eligible to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
"Staff Sgt. Adamski's family and friends are in our thoughts and prayers at this devastating time," Malloy said. "Staff Sgt. Adamski leaves behind a young daughter who will know and understand the sacrifice her father made on behalf of all of us."