2006 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Cuevas, Robertson, Moffatt, Albritton, Browning, Burton, Butler, Carmichael, Chaney, Clarke, Davis, Dawkins, Frazier, Gollott, Harden, Hewes, Hyde-Smith, Jackson (11th), Jackson (15th), King, Kirby, Lee (35th), Little, Mettetal, Posey, Thames
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION REMEMBERING THE GALLANT SERVICE AND COMMENDING THE LIFE OF MISSISSIPPI ARMY NATIONAL GUARD 1ST LIEUTENANT ROBERT C. ONETO-SIKORSKI OF BAY ST. LOUIS, MISSISSIPPI, WHO WAS KILLED IN IRAQ ON MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2005, AND EXPRESSING THE SYMPATHY OF THE LEGISLATURE.
WHEREAS, Mississippi Army National Guard 1st Lieutenant Robert C. Oneto-Sikorski, 33, of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, was killed by a roadside bomb on Monday, October 31, 2005, while on foot patrol near al Haswah, west of Baghdad; and
WHEREAS, Lt. Oneto-Sikorski was assigned to the 155th Brigade Combat Team, which is attached to the II Marine Expeditionary Force; and
WHEREAS, this tragic death came at a time when the National Guard soldier's family was facing the overwhelming challenge of Hurricane Katrina; Lt. Oneto-Sikorski's home and his mother's home were flooded by the storm surge, and the family has had a difficult time in securing hurricane relief and temporary trailer housing from the federal government; and
WHEREAS, carried by a military honor guard, he came home to his family and to his community which has been devastated by the worst natural disaster to befall the state, and was buried on November 10, 2005, with full military honors in the Biloxi National Cemetery; during the funeral he was awarded the Bronze Star which was given to his son, the Purple Heart and the Mississippi Medal of Valor by Adjutant General Harold Cross; and
WHEREAS, Lt. Oneto-Sikorski became the 14th Mississippian in the 155th Brigade Combat Team to die since the unit deployed from Camp Shelby. He is the first officer in the unit to be killed in action. The 155th Brigade Combat Team is comprised of 3,500 soldiers from Mississippi and other states, which is expected to begin returning to Mississippi in waves in the near future. Since operations began in Iraq and Afghanistan, 38 soldiers or sailors with Mississippi ties have died, and Lt. Oneto-Sikorski is the 18th member of the Mississippi National Guard to have been killed in this operation; and
WHEREAS, Robert was a mechanical engineer at Ingalls Ship Systems Operations in Pascagoula before his deployment. He was a 1991 graduate of Hancock County High School and a graduate of the University of South Alabama. Robert leaves two sons and one daughter, ages 6, 8 and 11, whom he loved dearly. Robert and Claire Rager, the mother of his children, were both stationed in Iraq with the 155th Brigade Combat Team. His father, Bob Sikorski of Vancleave, Mississippi, had recently helped his son rebuild a dirt bike that Robert loved to ride; and
WHEREAS, Robert Oneto-Sikorski lived his life committed to our nation's safety and security, both as an officer and shipbuilder. To a country, a fallen soldier means a national loss; to a community, a fallen soldier means a true hero; to a parent, a fallen soldier means a son who won't be coming home. Mississippians understand the costs of conflict, because we have paid them in the past, and it is with great pride and humility that we recognize the heroic action of this great American and Mississippian, who was the guardian of civilization as we know it today:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby remember the gallant service and commend the life of Mississippi Army National Guard 1st Lieutenant Robert C. Oneto-Sikorski of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, who was killed in the line of duty in Iraq on Monday, October 31, 2005, and extend the thoughts and prayers of the Legislature to his family and our sorrow on his passing.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to the surviving family of Lt. Oneto-Sikorski and be made available to members of the Capitol Press Corps.