2 local servicemen killed in Afghanistan

July 14, 2010 4:31:13 AM PDT
Two Chicago-area servicemen have become the latest casualties in U.S. offensive operations in Afghanistan. A soldier from northwest suburban Wildwood was killed on Saturday while doing an inventory of ammunition. And a Marine who grew up in Crystal Lake died while in combat on Sunday.

Army Ranger Joseph Dimock, 21, is one of two Chicago-area residents to die in Afghanistan this week.

Also killed in Afghanistan was 29-year-old Marine Staff Sergeant Chistopher Antonik.

Both men were part of the latest American offensive in that country, Operation: Enduring Freedom. Dimock is from north suburban Wildwood, near Grayslake.

Antonik grew up in Crystal Lake. His parents now live in Antioch.

Antonik's funeral will be held at his parents' church in Lake Villa. They expect it to be held over the weekend, or possibly on Monday. He was a decorated Marine and had just married a childhood friend in December.

The Antonik home was vacant Monday as his parents left to receive the body of Staff Sergeant Christopher Antonik, killed while supporting combat operations in Afghanistan.

Neighbors saw Marines leaving the Antonik home Sunday morning after notification.

"They were all full-dressed and everything, and at first we thought it was just going to be some bad news and that there was shrapnel or something, but unfortunately, they found out that he was killed," said neighbor Danielle Zack.

"It's tragic and devastating. We wish it didn't have to be happening," said another neighbor, Amy Holtcamp.

Sunday evening, Associate Pastor John Engberg visited with the Antoniks.

"Our presence made a difference for them, just being there, and being available to talk and listen to them," said Engberg, of Chain of Lakes Community Bible Church.

Over the weekend, another local young man was killed in Afghanistan. Ranger Joseph Dimock II died in an explosion in an ammunition center.

Friends remember Dimock was passionate about serving.

"He was a sharp kid, intelligent. He had a the virtues--he was an Eagle Scout as well--that not only the Boy Scouts of America, but also the United states military tries to instill in its members," said high school teacher John Hanlon. "He was just a fantastic young man."

Antonik's family has not released a photo of Christopher. They have asked for privacy in this time of grieving. The parents and young widow are on their way back from Dover Air Force Base where they received his body.


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