An Iowa National Guard soldier from central Iowa died in Thursday Iraq. Iowa Guard spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Greg Hapgood announced the death to the media late Friday.
Hapgood says 22-year-old Sergeant Daniel Sesker of Ogden was in a vehicle as a gunner on a personal security detail on a mission about 30 miles northwest of Tikrit, Iraq. Hapgood says an improvised explosive device detonated right next to the vehicle. Sesker was taken to an army medical hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Hapgood says Sesker was in Iraq with a southwest Iowa unit.
Sesker was part of Troop C 1st Squadron of 113th Calvary based in Le Mars. Sesker graduated from Ogden High School in 1983 and had been in the Iowa Guard since 2000, and was a police officer in Gowrie, Iowa before being deployed for operation Iraqi Freedom.
Hapgood says Sesker’s unit provided security for Iraqi military leaders. Hapgood says they also provided security for civilians, whether they were ambassadors or diplomats or heads of state for certain countries. Hapgood says the unit had a “great deal of missions”operating as a security force.
Hapgood says Sesker had a tough job as the gunner. He says, “Well when you think about doing convoy operations and you’re the gunner in an up-armored Humvee, it is the most exposed place you could possibly be in a convoy.” Hapgood says there have been a number of casualties that have occurred to the gunners in the Humvees because of the sheer force of the explosion from a roadside bomb.
Sesker is survived by his fiancée Angie Garey and Hapgood says Sesker was going to be a father. Hapgood says Sesker had learned just recently that he would become a father and was “very proud of it, and was very interested in how to be a new father.” Sesker is also survived by his mother, Mary Stumbo, and his father Dennis Sesker, a brother and a sister. Sesker is the 11th Iowa National Guard soldier to be killed in action in Iraq.