Shelby TownshipAugust 21, 2012
State honors fallen Shelby Township soldiers
By Brad D. Bates
C & G Staff Writer
SHELBY TOWNSHIP — As Shelby Township mourned their passing, the state honored two of the community’s fallen heroes
Orders from Gov. Rick Snyder had U.S. and state flags lowered to half-mast Aug. 15 and Aug. 16 in honor of U.S. Army 1st Lt. Todd Lampka and U.S. Army National Guard Sgt. Kyle B. McClain, respectively.
“It is a great honor that the state of Michigan lowers the flag,” U.S. Army veteran and Shelby Township veterans event coordinator Phil Randazzo said. “It’s flown half-mast for all the (killed in action), and it keeps the people aware of what’s going on around the world.
“When you see a flag at half-mast, it’s because one of our soldiers was killed, and we owe our freedom to that. The flag always means a lot, but when it’s at half-mast it means a hell of a lot more.”
Lampka was honored with the lowering of the flag the same day as a memorial service was held in his honor at Wasik Funeral Home in Shelby Township.
Lampka, 25, was a 2006 graduate of Eisenhower High School. He then graduated in 2010 from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.
He was assigned to the 1st Battalion of the 28th Infantry Regiment in the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 1st Infantry Division, in Fort Riley, Kansas, and died Aug. 1 from injuries sustained by an improvised explosive device in Paktikap Province, Afghanistan.
“First Lt. Todd Lampka was a true leader and served his country with honor and pride. All Michiganders should be grateful for his dedication, and we mourn his sacrifice,” said Snyder in a release.
“My thoughts are with his wife, Cassie; father, Brian; twin brother, Jordan, who serves in the Michigan Army National Guard; and all of his family and friends.”
McClain was honored by the state the same day as his memorial service at St. Mary of the Hills Catholic Church in Rochester Hills.
A graduate from Rochester High School in 2005, McClain studied engineering at Ferris State University for two years before joining the U.S. Army National Guard.
He was a combat engineer serving in Afghanistan after tours of duty in Korea and Iraq, and was assigned to the 1433rd Engineer Company of the 507th Engineer Battalion in the 177th Military Police Brigade in Kalamazoo.
McClain, 25, was a solider in the Michigan National Guard and died Aug. 1 in Salim Aka, Afghanistan. He is survived by his wife, Lisa; his parents, Michael and Geraldine; and his sister, Kristyn.
“Sgt. McClain made the ultimate sacrifice protecting the freedoms we enjoy and the country he called home,” said Snyder.
“I extend heartfelt condolences to Sgt. McClain’s wife, Lisa, his entire family and friends as we honor and remember this true American hero.”
Lampka and McClain were posthumously awarded the Purple Heart.
Lampka had also earned the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghan Campaign Medal with Bronze Service Star, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, and the Parachutist Badge during his career, and he was posthumously awarded the Basic NATO Medal and Combat Infantryman Badge.
McClain had been awarded the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korea Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with “Mobilization” device, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon with Numeral 2, North Atlantic Treaty Organization - International Security Assistance Force Medal, Michigan Service Medal (Broadsword), Michigan State War on Terrorism Ribbon with “Mobilization” device, Michigan Outside United States Service Ribbon and the Expert Weapons Qualification Badge with Rifle Bar during his service. He was awarded the Combat Action Badge posthumously
Both soldiers received a Bronze Star posthumously, which Randazzo said was a refelction of the heroism and bravery they exhibited in their lives and terms of service.
“The Bronze Star is for heroism in conflict with an enemy of our nation,“ said Randazzo, who received two Bronze Stars in Vietnam.
“Understand what heroism means. It’s not just jumping up and shooting another guy. There’s more to it than that.
“That’s why (Lampka and McClain) are some of the most heroic guys in the world. They’re heroes for more than just dying for their country.”
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