Silver Lions Bid Farewell to Friend

Written by Pfc. Paul J. Harris, 3rd HBCT, 4th ID PAO
Posted on 09.12.2006 at 11:48am

BAQUBAH, Iraq (Sept. 11, 2006) -- “Madaras had the answer, he had all the answers and he was only 19 years old,” said Sgt. Brendan McCullagh, battalion commander’s personal security detachment, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1-68 Combined Arms Battalion, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Task Force Lightning, at his friend’s memorial Sunday at Forward Operating Base Warhorse.

Pfc. Nicholas A. Madaras, driver, HHC, 1-68 CAB, was killed Sept. 3 from injuries suffered during combat.

Upon joining the company, Madaras’ intelligence and potential was immediately recognized by his platoon sergeant, Staff Sgt. Daniel Ritchie. Ritchie approached Capt. Sterling Packer, HHC commander, to discuss sending Madaras to the United States Military Academy at West Point.

“This prospect excited me as I have always wanted to send one of my Soldiers to West Point,” Packer said.

During some downtime at Logistical Support Area Anaconda, Packer asked Madaras why he did not attend some of the notable colleges he was accepted to out of high school and chose to join the Army instead.

“Everybody has an obligation, whether it is just three years or 27, to do their part for their country,” Madaras said to Packer. “I don’t see how one could sit around and do nothing while halfway across the world our brothers and sisters are dying on a daily basis!”

One of his military brothers, Pfc. Joshua Daily, driver, HHC, 1-68 CAB, spoke at the memorial about the influence Madaras had on his life.

“He could always make you laugh even when you didn’t want to,” Daily said. “He could always tell you a joke or say something funny and it would only be funny if he told it. I know a huge part of me is gone because he was such a big influence on me and made me want to be a better man. He was a great Soldier and outstanding person. I am proud to say I had the privilege of having him in my life.”

Some of Madaras’ awards include the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge. He is survived by his parents William and Shalini Madaras, his sister Marie and brother Christopher.

“Nick Madaras chose to be a Soldier and do his solemn duty when our nation called,” said Lt. Col. Thomas Fisher, commander, 1-68 CAB. “He could have gone elsewhere, selected a different way of life, but he had the heart of courage and a warrior ethos that made him part of an uncommon league of extraordinary heroes who rise each morning and face great peril because of noble character. Private Madaras stands out among our bravest due to his dedication and selfless service.”

Maj. General Thomas Turner, commander, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), wipes his eyes during a memorial for Pfc. Nicholas A. Madaras, driver, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1-68 Combined Arms Battalion, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Task Force Lightning, Sunday at Forward Operating Base Warhorse near Baqubah, Iraq. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Paul J. Harris, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office Sept. 10, 2006)

 

During a memorial for Pfc. Nicholas A. Madaras, driver, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1-68 Combined Arms Battalion, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Task Force Lightning, Lt. Col. Thomas Fisher, commander, 1-68 CAB, pays his respects Sunday at Forward Operating Base Warhorse near Baqubah, Iraq. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Paul J. Harris, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office Sept. 10, 2006)

The memorial for Pfc. Nicholas A. Madaras, driver, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1-68 Combined Arms Battalion, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Task Force Lightning, stands as a final tribute Sunday at Forward Operating Base Warhorse near Baqubah, Iraq. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Paul J. Harris, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office Sept. 10, 2006)

A picture of Pfc. Nicholas A. Madaras, driver, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1-68 Combined Arms Battalion, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Task Force Lightning, lies among the many mementos left by fellow Soldiers at a memorial Sunday at Forward Operating Base Warhorse near Baqubah, Iraq. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Paul J. Harris, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office Sept. 10, 2006)

Col. Brian Jones, left, commander, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Task Force Lightning, and Command Sgt. Maj. David List, command sergeant major, 3rd HBCT, salute the memorial for Pfc. Nicholas A. Madaras, driver, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1-68 Combined Arms Battalion, 3rd HBCT Sunday at Forward Operating Base Warhorse near Baqubah, Iraq. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Paul J. Harris, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office Sept. 10, 2006)

Maj. Gen. JD Thurman, commander, 4th Infantry Division, Task Force Lightning, grasps the identification tags of Pfc. Nicholas A. Madaras, driver, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1-68 Combined Arms Battalion, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, as Command Sgt. Maj. Ronald Riling, command sergeant major, 4th ID, looks on during Madaras’ memorial Sunday at Forward Operating Base Warhorse near Baqubah, Iraq. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Paul J. Harris, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office Sept. 10, 2006)