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In Memoriam

Tony MihaloTony Mihalo

On Aug 14, 2008 USMC Corporal Anthony Mihalo was killed by an Improvised Explosive Device while leading a foot patrol in Helmand Province, Afghanistan while serving a third tour of duty in the Middle East.

Six months earlier Mihalo returned home after his second tour in Iraq and was expected to stay stateside, but he later agreed to serve in Afghanistan after the Marines asked for combat veterans to lead units there.

He earned three Purple Heart Medals for combat related injuries in Iraq and another one in Afghanistan just a month before he was killed, but returned them all because none of them resulted in a life threatening wound, and he didn't feel right about keeping them.

"Tony had a great love, great pride and loyalty to his country and family," said Debbie Wolfe, Mihalo's mother. "He joined the Marines after - and in part due to - the events of Sept. 11, 2001." she added.

The Mayor of Naperville A. George Pradel, who is a Marine veteran himself, said that Mihalo was a "true Marine". They met when Tony arrived at Midway Airport after his second tour of duty in Iraq. Mayor Pradel came home on a different flight that day and when he learned about Mihalo's Homecoming from Operation Welcome You Home - IL, he invited Tony to ride back to Naperville in his limousine. WelcomeYouHome.org had set up a Welcome Home Party as well as Police and Fire escort for CPL Mihalo to the VFW post in Naperville.

Unfortunately, only six months later Tony was taken away from us at the young age of 23 while supporting combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

He died a hero and he lived a hero.



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