USAFE Fallen Airman
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Staff Sergeant Joseph J. Hamski

Staff Sergeant Joseph J. Hamski

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Stationed: Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany
Unit Assigned: 52nd Civil Engineer Squadron
Date Fell: Thursday, May 26th, 2011
SSgt Joseph Hamski grave visited by wife and mother

Staff Sgt. Joseph Hamski's wife, Christina Hamski, and mother, Mary Ellen Winston, visit his grave in Ottumwa Cemetery.

SSgt Joseph Hamski in full combat gear

SSgt Joseph Hamski in full combat gear

Bronze Star MedalPurple Heart MedalAir Force Commendation Medal

Sergeant Hamski, an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician, was killed in action May 26, 2011, in Shorabak, Afghanistan, while responding to a known enemy weapons cache.

He was born April 30, 1983, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to John Ray and Mary Ellen Ehlert Hamski. He graduated from Ottumwa High School in 2001, where he played the trumpet in the band. He briefly attended Iowa State University and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in January of 2003. He married Staff Sergeant Maria Christina Magdaleno on Jan. 2, 2009, while stationed at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea. He was serving his fourth tour of duty overseas.

Surviving are his wife, Christina, currently stationed in Germany; his mother and stepfather, Mary Ellen and Joe Winston of Ottumwa; grandparents, Clyde and Rosina Ehlert of West Bend, Wis., Ray and Irene Hamski of Duluth, Minn.; two sisters, Jennifer Marie (Carl) Hensley of Shakopee, Minn., and Nicole (Josh) Friedman of Blakesburg; his brother, Thomas Martin (Trish) Hamski of Nevada; two stepsisters, Lisa Marie (Bill) Rohlf of West Des Moines and Trazon McMullen of Houston, Texas; two stepbrothers, Jo-Jo (Stacey) Winston of Hong Kong, China, and Chad (fiancee Cindy Bergfeld) Winston of West Des Moines; along with numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.

"He really found himself in the Air Force - he just blossomed into a super young man," said Ray Hamski, SSgt Hamski's grandfather. "He was kind of a free spirit in high school and he just wasn't a college man. But he really shaped up in the Air Force. It's a devastating loss."

He is buried in the Ottumwa Cemetery.

SSgt Hamski was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Air Force Commendation Medals.