Obituary of Jan M. Argonish
Sgt. Jan Argonish, 26, of Scranton, was killed Monday in an ambush in Kunar Province, Afghanistan. A veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom with nearly 10 years of service in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, Sgt. Argonish volunteered to help train soldiers of the Afghan National Army. It was his third deployment since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Born Feb. 6, 1981, son of Nancy and Michael Argonish, Peckville, Sgt. Argonish was a 1999 graduate of Valley View High School, where he played football and was a member of the swim team. He joined the National Guard as a junior, with his parents proud consent. An accomplished soldier, Sgt. Argonish was a graduate of the Armys infantry and mortar schools and the tanker school at Fort Knox, Ky. He also served two years as a military recruiter. During his tour in Iraq, his duties included the capture and detention of several high-level fugitives. He received numerous service awards, including the Bronze Star; Purple Heart; National Defense Service Medal; Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal; Armed Forces Reserve Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal; Overseas Service Ribbon; NATO Medal; Meritorious Unit Commendation; Army Good Conduct Medal; Pennsylvania Army National Guard Recruiting and Retention Medal; Gen. Thomas J. Stewart Medal; Pennsylvania Service Ribbon; and the Army Achievement Medal. Sgt. Argonish was a member of Sacred Heart Church, Peckville, and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5544, Jessup. Since Feb. 2006, he was employed as a corrections officer at the U.S. Penitentiary Canaan in Waymart. An avid outdoorsman, Sgt. Argonish enjoyed hunting, fishing and riding motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles with his son, Jakub, and Talia Walsh, who he planned to marry and called his "better half." He loved country music and classic cars, and attended a car show in Atlantic City, N.J., with his father every February. He missed the traditional trip just twice, when he was deployed. Jan gave his life to secure a better, safer future for his son, family and all Americans. He believed in what he was doing and died defending his fellow soldiers against overwhelming opposition. He was a true hero who will be deeply missed by all whose lives he touched. There are many such lives, but there was only one Jan. Along with his parents, Sgt. Argonish is survived by a son, Jakub, 8; a brother, Nicholas Argonish and wife, Leanne, West Chester; a sister, Elizabeth Conaghan and husband, Scott, Exton; maternal grandmother, Betty Louryk, Scranton; uncles, aunts, nieces and cousins. He was preceded in death by his maternal grandfather, Nicholas Louryk; and his paternal grandparents, Joseph and Anna Argonish. A funeral Mass will be Saturday at 10 a.m. in Sacred Heart Church, 1101 Willow St., Peckville. Interment with military honors will be in St. Marys Byzantine Cemetery. Friends may call Friday, 4 to 9 p.m. at the church. Arrangements by James M. Margotta Funeral Home, 1019 Main St., Peckville. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Jakub Fund, c/o PNC Bank, 533 Main St., Peckville, 18452.
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