As Schweinfurt readies tribute, word comes of more fatalities
Two more members of the Schweinfurt, Germany-based 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment have been killed in Iraq, officials said Tuesday.
News of the deaths came Monday of Pfc. Lucas Vincent Starcevich and Sgt. Mario K. De Leon as the unit and community prepared to mourn the deaths of three other members of the 1-18 in a ceremony Thursday afternoon.
Since deploying last August and September, the battalion has lost nine soldiers, and 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, of which 1-18 is a part, has lost 31.
Starcevich, 25, of Canton, Ill., died in Baghdad of wounds received when the vehicle he was riding in was struck by a roadside bomb. De Leon, 26, of San Francisco, also died in Baghdad after being hit by small-arms fire during combat.
In a statement released through the Illinois lieutenant governor’s office, Starcevich’s family said he initially enlisted in the Army in 2000 and was honorably discharged in 2004 after serving in Iraq.
He re-enlisted in 2005 “because he loved the Army,” the Chicago Tribune reported.
Starcevich is survived by his mother, Eva Tomson; his father, Bradley Starcevich; a brother; and a sister.
De Leon was the third soldier from the Bay Area to die in Iraq in the past two weeks.
A memorial service for Starcevich and De Leon has not been scheduled, Mark Heeter of the Schweinfurt public affairs office said.