SOUTH EUCLID, OH, USA U.S. Marines LCPL, TRUCK CO, HQ BN, (2D BN, 24TH MAR), 4TH MAR DIV, ERIE, PA MAMUDIYAH, IRAQ 02/26/2005
Excerpted from LTC Mark A. Smith’s tribute to Lance Corporal Andrew W. Nowacki:
All of them spoke of his unbelievable spirit. In eulogizing LCPL Nowacki, his platoon mates reiterated that he was ALWAYS the one that every one else clung to when they were at their worst, because he was always at his best. He was always joking, always laughing, always smiling. He was described as “the most unprofessional professional Marine” they had ever known. That is the description of the Warrior upon whom so many have leaned on since the Corps was established. Such men are the leaders around which other men find steadiness and courage in dark times.
On the day LCPL Nowacki arrived at his new post in heaven something happened that I shall never forget. Waiting for departure for a mission on February 26th, I watched as a Marine stood behind his machine gun in the turret, with the largest smile on his face you had ever seen, and he was waving. Waving at every one that he passed at 5 mph.
I knew this was a Marine with a special heart. He was a Marine “comfortable in his own skin.” When we think of waving, we assume it is to say hello. But in this case, he was also waving goodbye; for the Marine who struck me on this day was Lance Corporal Andrew W. Nowacki. When I do see Lance Corporal Andrew W. Nowacki again I am going to wave! And then I am going to salute him.
April 18, 2009 To Andy’s family, I served with Andy in Iraq with 2/24. He was probably one of the funniest guys in the platoon. I will never forget him. I am back in Iraq now with A co 3/3 and wanted to let you know how much the country has changed. It is amazing to see how safe it is here now in comparison. Andy fought for a worthy cause that I can tell you now has made a huge difference in these peoples lives. I think about him often. And the sacrifices he and many have made to get this country where it is now. I will never forget him. Sgt Alan Ryon 1st PLT A CO 3/3
March 14, 2005 I just wanted to say that my thoughts and prayers are with you. I am also stationed right now in Iraq. I went to school with your son and so did my brother Mark Gliva. I am truly very sorry about what happened and I promise while serving my country over here in Mosul, Iraq I will do my best in honor of Andrew.
All my thoughts and prayers Rochelle Gliva, South Euclid, Ohio
“He’s been in Iraq more than he’s been home the last two years,” said LCPL Nowacki’s mother Sheila. “But he was really OK with being over there because he saw the oppression and the cruelty that had happened to the people there. He thought a lot of the Iraqi people and he was willing to go back because he thought we were doing so much good.”
Nowacki graduated from Brush High School in the Cleveland suburb of Lyndhurst in 1998, and enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve the following fall. His commitment to the reserves was almost up, his mother said, but they “pulled him back in and he was deployed.” Nowacki was a police officer in Grand River, about 25 miles northeast of Cleveland.