January 21st, 2007 08:39 EST
Father visits Iraq to feel closer to late son, a fallen Marine officer
FORT MCPHERSON, Ga. — A high school athletic director from Jefferson Township, N.J. is going to Iraq. For him, it has been a goal since April 6, 2004, when his son was killed during an intense firefight in Ramadi.
Despite concerns for his well-being from family and friends, John Wroblewski Sr., a father of four boys, feels this will bring him closer to his dead son, Marine 2nd Lt. John Wroblewski Jr.
“I see it as a way to be closer to my son”, said the positive Wroblewski, a day before his scheduled trip to Iraq. “I want to experience what he did and see what he saw.”
For the elder Wroblewski, this trip is not about himself or closure with his remorse; it’s about honoring his son and other servicemembers currently serving in Iraq.
“I want to meet the troops and shake their hands”, he said. “They are true heroes and I want to thank them for their service.”
Because of his support for the war and his desire to go to Iraq, Wroblewski made ties with commentator Martha Zoller, a radio host in Gainesville, Ga. Zoller worked with the Department of Defense and the Third Army, based in Atlanta, to organize a trip to for herself and John Sr., to go to Iraq on a support-the-troops mission.
“I know it’s going to be an emotional moment,” Wroblewski said. “I just want to talk to him and leave him some momentos from home.”
Wroblewski’s trip comes on the heels of President Bush’s announcement that an additional 20,000 troops will be deployed to Iraq in attempts to suppress the sectarian violence in and around Baghdad.
Despite the loss of his son, John Sr., supports the president and the war in Iraq, even in the face of growing animosity from the American public of the U.S. involvement in the war-torn nation.
“I still believe we are doing the right thing over there [Iraq]”, he said. “If we leave now, I would consider that a surrender.”
“I don’t like to hear people talk about bring the troops home before the mission is complete. It makes me blood boil,” he added.
His son, Lt. Wroblewski, or “Lt. Ski” as he was referred to by his comrades, served as platoon leader for the 4th Marine Regiment based out of Camp Pendleton, Calif. He graduated from Rutgers University in 2002 and was commissioned as Marine officer after graduation. Lt. Wroblewski and his wife, Joanna, were married less than a year prior to his death. He was 25 years old.
Story and photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Licea
U.S. Army Central Public Affairs