DERRY - According to information provided by the Department of Defense, Spc. Adam M. Kuligowski, 21, a native of Derry, died Apr. 6 in Bagram, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained from a non-combat related incident. He was assigned to the Special Troops Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky. He was in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.
The circumstances surrounding the incident are under investigation.
Kuligowski attended Pinkerton Academy for several years. Upon enlisting in the Army in October of 2006, he became a signals intelligence analyst, arriving at Fort Campbell in August 2007.
As the American flag flew at half staff on Wednesday morning, Pinkerton Academy remembered Kuligowski as a student who was curious, unique, and always following the best of a different drummer.
Pinkerton teacher Thomas Weatherby remembered Kuligowski as someone who always wanted to explore new things. Weatherby, part of Pinkerton's China exchange trip contingent, said Kuligowski was among the group of students to travel to China in the very first excursion back in 2004.
"Adam is sitting on a camel in one of our DVDs [from that trip] Weatherby said. "And he always wore his cowboy hat."
Pinkerton teacher John Barry remembered Kuligowski from his years spent as part of the Pinkerton television production class and said he was a very quiet and unique.
"He was very intelligent and pretty much went where his abilities too him," Barry said. "He had a spirit of adventure for sure, and was a very creative individual."
Barry also remembered that first Pinkerton trip to China and said Kuligowski made quite an impression on the Chinese students with his signature cowboy hat.
"The Chinise kids wanted photos taken with an American Cowboy," Barry said. "He was a big hit over in China."
Both Weatherby and Barry agreed that Kuligowski was a dreamer that wanted to explore new places and see the world and said his death was a huge loss to those who remembered him during his years at Pinkerton.
"He was a real nice boy," Weatherby added. "He was just one of those 'do your own thing' types of kids."
Kuligowski was highly decorated for his service with awards and decorations including National Defense Service Medal; Afghanistan Campaign Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Army Service Ribbon; NATO Medal and Weapons Qualification: M4-rifle, expert.
He is survived by his parents, Michael and Tracie Kuligowski, of Derry.
A memorial service will be held in Afghanistan. Fort Campbell generally holds an Eagle Remembrance Ceremony the second Wednesday of each month, however, the ceremony for April was canceled.
Information for this report was provided by the Department of Defense and theleafchronicle.com, a news Web site covering Fort Cambell, Ky.