On March 04, 2015 we lost "Ski" Kwiatkowski who was an integral part of Kilo 3/26.  Not enough can be said to explain how special Ski was to everyone who knew him.  In Vietnam during 1968-69 he became the radioman for 3/26 Kilo Co./1st Platoon.  When we were in the bush he was always near the head of the line with the platoon Lieutenant and was super observant in identifying trip wires and booby traps. He had previously shown the  same ability when we wound up in the middle of a minefield in January of 1969.  Ski could spot the prongs of some of the land mines sticking up from the ground that the rest of us had not noticed.  He had this uncanny ability of identifying anything out of the ordinary relating to the ground surface.  Being the platoon radioman, Ski always kept us informed about what was going on, and the latest news from the upper "Brass" while we were in the bush.  Always friendly and always funny. Those traits lasted throughout his life as everyone found out at our first reunion in 1999.  It was the first time Kilo 3/26 had gotten together since 1969 when we were in Vietnam.  It was an exciting weekend for everyone and it seemed that no time had passed since we were last together.  Ski's appearance had changed somewhat over the years because he now had a beard and a shaved head.  As soon as I sat down beside him and he started talking, I immediately recognized his soft voice and the twinkle he always had in his eyes. Ski was a very  brave, honest, caring, and proud marine.  If you wanted an honest opinion he would certainly give it to you whether it was to your liking or not. After the 1999 reunion we started having company reunions every year and sometimes twice a year.  After 2007 Ski was unable to attend the reunions because of his health.  A group of us in the company would go to the regular 3/26 Kilo reunion each year and then started going to Chicago in the Fall to see Ski and his family because he meant so much to us.  Everyone was always invited and Ski and his wife, Marge and daughter, Sarah always made everyone feel right at home.  That's what made it so great each year.   You could always tell that Ski was very proud of his wife, Marge and his two daughters, Sarah and Regina.  There would very seldom be a conversation with Ski without him mentioning their names.  Those are memories that we can always reflect back on and smile.  God made someone very special when he made Ski and that can never be duplicated.  We are all better off from knowing him.  Not having Ski around will certainly take some getting used to; but we all know that Ski is with God now and is finally free from all the pain he suffered for all those years.   We love you Ski. 
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