Friends of fallen Marine "shocked" to hear of his death


HOLLAND PATENT, N.Y. (WKTV) -  Just a few weeks after friends and family buried Lance Corporal Daniel Geary, of Rome, comes the news that another Marine was killed in Afghanistan. Early afternoon Wednesday, friends of Holland Patent graduate Blaise Oleski confirmed that the 22 year-old marine was killed while serving his country.

Mary Klievoneit graduated from Holland Patent High School with Lance Corporal Oleski. Klievoneit considered herself, like others, a close friend to Oleski. She says she, like his other friends, was stunned to hear the news. 
"Everyone heard about it through the grapevine," Klievoneit said. "Everybody I talked to on the phone, was crying. Nobody can believe it. It seems like just yesterday we were hanging out with him and having good times."  

Klievoneit said Oleski was a quiet kid growing up, and a standout wrestler at Holland Patent. She said that while you hear of deaths overseas everyday, it still remains shocking when it hits home.

"I was actually just talking to my friend about that," she said. "We were saying that no one really thinks it could happen to someone that's so close."

At the American Legion in Holland Patent, the flags will soon be flying half staff in honor of Oleski, said Legion Commander Gary Wedgewood.
Wedgewood said that everyone who goes overseas does so with a purpose, while hoping to come back home.  

"They say every war is different, but once there is a casualty, there is no difference for you or the family. The grief is still there, no matter the conflict or reason." Wedgewood said.

Wedgewood says there are no funeral arraignments yet and that Oleski's family is currently in Dover, Delaware where his body will be returned in a dignified transfer on Thursday, before coming home to the Mohawk Valley.

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