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1st Lt. Debra A. Banaszak View/Sign Guest Book
1st Lt. Debra A. Banaszak

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Age:   35
Hometown: Bloomington, IL
Date of Death: 10/28/2005
Incident Location: Camp Victory, Kuwait
Branch of Military:   Army
Rank: 1st Lt.
Unit: 1035th Maintenance Company
Unit's Base: Jefferson Barracks, Mo.

Before Debra A. Banaszak''s funeral, her mother asked her grandson if he wanted to put flowers into her mother''s casket. He told her he wanted to give her sunflowers because that was what she liked the best. "Her whole kitchen was done in sunflowers," said Barbara Butler, Banaszak''s mother. "Everything imaginable." Banaszak, 35, of Bloomington, Ill., died Oct. 28 in Kuwait from noncombat related injuries. She was assigned to Jefferson Barracks. Banaszak, who served in the military continuously for almost 17 years, first joined the Army Reserve just after completing high school in 1989. "She truly was a friend to so many, and a devoted soldier who was proud to serve her country," said J. Kent Hickerson, at her funeral. Butler said her daughter had to overcome many family and health problems, including back problems, to reach her goal of becoming an officer. But she was always most concerned about being a good mother to her son, Mark. "We see sports stars and rock stars, but they aren''t the role models we should fashion our lives after. It''s the Debra Banaszaks we should want to be like," said Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn.
Source: Associated Press
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