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Holland Patent graduate killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan

By By EVAN WHITE

FLOYD, N.Y. (WKTV) - Tragedy strikes again as a local marine is killed overseas - 2004 Holland Patent graduate and Marine Blaise Oleski has been killed in Afghanistan.

Oleski was a Lance Corporal who actually knew another marine recently killed - Lance Corporal Daniel Geary, of Rome.

The Holland Patent School District is taking this hard - the school community has been meeting throughout the day, forming a plan to handle a heavy burden many in the Mohawk Valley are facing once again - the death of a young marine.

School officials say they heard the news Wednesday morning and are still in shock.

The family of Corporal Oleski could not be reached Wednesday afternoon, but friends say the family left for Dover, Delaware as his casket returns to the U.S.

Friends tell us he was a popular student at Holland Patent High School, always willing to help anyone at anytime. The school's Principal, John Egresits, wasn't at the high school during Oleski's time, but says he touched many in the district.

"Blaise was an outstanding young man, great character," Egresits said. "His guidance counselor John Riley told me Blaise wanted to be in the military and was very glad to be a marine."

Family and friends expect the Oleski to return at some point tomorrow.

We spoke with a former classmate, who said funeral arrangements have not yet been finalized.

Rome Mayor James Brown is extending his condolences tonight, saying:

"This is a tragedy," Mayor Brown said. "Another individual...only 22 years old who gave the ultimate sacrifice for his country. His mother was at the hangar when they brought Lance Corporal Geary home. The entire community is heart wrenched about this. Our entire community will all come out to support the family."

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