Wisconsin soldier with Minnesota ties killed in AfghanistanA Wisconsin soldier who grew up in Minnesota was killed while serving in Afghanistan, the Pentagon said Monday.
By: The Associated Press, Superior Telegram
SAUK CITY, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin soldier who grew up in Minnesota was killed while serving in Afghanistan, the Pentagon said Monday.
Pvt. Adam Novak, 20, of Prairie du Sac, was killed Friday in the Dzardan district of Afghanistan, the Defense Department said. He had been serving in the 1st Squadron, 33rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 101st Airborne Division, based at Ft. Campbell, Ky.
The military said Novak was one of two soldiers killed when insurgents attacked their vehicle with a roadside bomb in Paktiya, Afghanistan. The other was Pfc. Chad D. Coleman, 20, of Moreland, Ga.
"All we know is he was in a heavily armored vehicle and he hit a road bomb," said Novak's stepfather, Rick Block. "They think it was electronically detonated, and they said that's all they know until it's investigated."
Novak was a 2008 graduate of Sauk Prairie High School, according to family friend Sandy Richards of Fergus Falls, Minn. Novak and his family had lived in Fergus Falls for about 11 years before he and his family moved back to Wisconsin in 2008, Richards said.
Novak is survived by his wife, Celeste Stuessy Novak, of Prairie du Sac; his mother, Sue Block, of Prairie du Sac; two sisters; and two brothers
Novak came home one day and told his family he had joined the Army, Block said. While Novak didn't discuss his decision with his family beforehand, Block added that he didn't discourage his stepson from enlisting.
"We worried about him every day, but I think the military is good for some people, and I'm a believer in the cause. We gave him our blessing and kept our fingers crossed," Block said.
Richards said Novak's mother is devastated and noted his brother Logan Novak, 23, also is serving in Afghanistan.
Block said Logan had arrived in Afghanistan just a week ago, and was sent home after they got the news. Block said he didn't want to talk about the prospect of the older brother returning to Afghanistan after the funeral.
Funeral arrangements were pending.
Richards said Adam, who worked on military trucks, had a lot of connections in Fergus Falls, in part because he was involved in Boy Scouts and played soccer in the northwestern Minnesota town.
"He was a very kind, loving boy," Richards said. "He always thought of others, always."
Richards was Novak's Sunday school teacher in Fergus Falls.
"He was a dream kid to teach, very intelligent, he caught on," she said.
Adam's father died in 2002. After his mother remarried the family moved back to Wisconsin, where Adam finished his senior year of high school, Richards said.
After taking a year off, Adam enlisted in the Army. He was "really pumped about it and proud to do it," Richards said. Logan joined shortly afterward.
Adam Novak met his future wife while completing his basic training. They got married in March, surprising his family, Richards said. They had planned to hold a formal wedding ceremony in November when Novak was scheduled to return to Wisconsin.
"He was very respectful," said Richards, who said she drove all night to visit Adam's mother in Wisconsin after the family was notified of his death. "He's the kind of person you want for a best friend."