Memorial planned for fallen soldier

Nineteen-year-old Army Spec. Holly McGeogh of Taylor was the first female soldier from Michigan killed in Iraq.

The 2002 Truman High School graduate was riding in a convoy when a bomb exploded along a road near Kirkuk on January 31, 2004.

A memorial to honor McGeogh is planned for the City of Taylor by Lest They Be Forgotten, a nonprofit group founded to honor American soldiers who have died in "the war against terrorism."

A spaghetti dinner is scheduled for 4 p.m. to midnight November 18 to raise money for the memorial and LTBF is reaching out to the community for donations. The dinner will be held at American Legion Post 364, 3001 S. Telegraph Road, Dearborn.

"All help toward ensuring that SPCA. McGeogh is not forgotten will be forever appreciated," said Paula Zasadny, McGeogh's mother.

The teen-ager enlisted in the Army after graduating from high school. She was highly motivated and wanted to serve her country, according to Sgt. Major Benjamin Brown, senior Army Junior ROTC instructor at Truman.

McGeogh had been in Iraq since March 2003 and was expected to return home in March 2004. She was one month away from returning to her family when she was killed.

To date, she is the only female soldier from Michigan to be killed in Iraq. McGeogh had planned to attend officers' training school after her tour of duty.

"Holly is another reminder that our freedom truly is not free," McGeogh's parents, Paula and Michael Zasadny of Taylor, said in a written statement.

"All of us need to remember that there are literally thousands of brave soldiers still serving and fighting in Iraq and around the world for our freedom and others.

"Please stand behind our soldiers and their families and show your support."

Flags throughout the City of Taylor were flown at half staff in honor of McGeogh in February 2004 and members of the Truman Jr. ROTC and the city planted a tree in her honor in Priebe Plaza next to City Hall.

McGeogh was awarded to Bronze Star and the Purple Heart at a memorial service in Iraq.

At the spaghetti dinner fund-raiser, DK, the "Golden Oldies" DJ, will entertain, and raffle drawings will take place every two hours, featuring a variety of prizes.

All proceeds will go to the LTBF for the McGeogh memorial project.

Donation checks can be made out to OCVG/LTBF -- Oakland County Veterans Group/Lest They Be Forgotten. Write "Holly McGeogh Memorial" in the memo section.

Checks can be sent to 711 Reynolds Drive, Waterford, MI 48328. Monetary donations also can be made online at www.michigansoldiers.com.

To purchase dinner tickets, make donations, ask questions or offer comments, send e-mail to ourbravelittlesoldier@yahoo.com or call (313) 291-7413.

(The article was written by Brittney Schering of The News-Herald Newspapers, October 22, 2006.)