TEMECULA, CA, U.S.A.
U.S. MARINE CORPS
LTCOL, 3RD MARINE AIRCRAFT WING, HELICOPTER UNIT HMLA-469, CAMP PENDLETON, CA
02/22/2012, CALIFORNIA-ARIZONA BORDER, U.S.A.
LTCOL Budrejko was born on November 22, 1974 in Jacksonville, FL. He grew up in Montville, CT. He was a 1992 graduate of Montville High School, where he wrestled, played football, and ran track. LTCOL Budrejko graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a degree in Aerospace Engineering in May 1996, and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps.
In February 1999 he completed his flight training, designated a Naval Aviator, and was selected as an AH-1W Cobra pilot. When pinned by his father, Budrejko became the third generation of Naval Aviators to wear the same ‘Wings of Gold’ worn by his father, and his great uncle, LCDR Casey Suchcicki, all three raised in Connecticut.
In 2009 he attended USMC Command & Staff College where he graduated with distinction and earned a Master’s Degree in Military Studies. He was recognized by the Marine Corps as an accomplished French Linguist. His combat tours included Kosovo, three deployments to Iraq, and one to Afghanistan. He was scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan again in the spring.
LTCOL Thomas A. Budrejko, 37, served as an AH-1W Cobra pilot and executive officer of the helicopter unit HMLA-469. He resided in Temecula, CA.
LTCOL Budrejko had earned many medals, including a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal.
“He was funny. He was successful. He was a Renaissance man, but most of all he was kind. He was such a kind person, and really wanted to make a difference – not just in the wider world but person-to-person,” said his aunt, Gail Budrejko.
“I think the world was a better place because Tommy was in it.” she added.