By Ms. Dawn M Arden (Leonard Wood)January 29, 2015
A plaque dedication ceremony was held Jan. 21 in the 1st Lt. Terry Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Responder Training facility to honor two Florida National Guard Civil Support Team members who lost their lives while rendering aid to others.
The plaque honoring Capt. Tecarie Czarnecki and Tech. Sgt. David Stone Jr. was hung by Kevin McNaught, partner of Czarnecki, and Katie Stone, wife of Stone, in the Communication and Scientific Laboratory, also known as the CASL Building, in the training facility's compound.
Czarnecki and Stone were struck and killed by an automobile Sept. 8, 2013 while assisting a motorist involved in a traffic accident on a Florida interstate.
Both received their CST qualification at the Civil Support Skills Course that is taught only at the 1st Lt. Terry CBRN Responder Facility.
The CST members are taught hazardous materials response, chemistry, confined space operations and how to conduct themselves as a CST survey team member.
In 2014, more than 184 students from throughout the United States and its territories attended the eight-week course that is taught only on Fort Leonard Wood.
"Tech. Sgt. Stone and Capt. Czarnecki's actions on the evening of Sept. 8 reflect on their character of selfless service. With a disabled vehicle scattered in the median, and not knowing if the occupants were injured or not, their instincts kicked in -- they immediately and deliberately headed towards the vehicle to lend aid," said Col. Valeria Gonzalez-Kerr, assistant adjutant general for the state of Florida.
"Their first concern was for their fellow man and how they could make a bad situation better. Capt. Czarnecki and Tech. Sgt. Stone did exactly as they were trained to do. But more importantly they did exactly what their hearts told them to do. These heroes died as they lived--serving others," Gonzalez-Kerr said.
She said Czarnecki had a national reputation forged in hard work, competence and unequaled sense of teamwork and was recognized as the best nuclear-medicine science officer in the nation.
Stone made it his passion to know his craft better than anyone else and became an authority on hazardous materials detection, sampling and most importantly how to lead Soldiers and Airmen, Gonzalez-Kerr said.
According to Heinrich Reyes, National Guard Bureau Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction division chief, the generous donations of the CST community as a whole made it possible to have two plaques made. The other plaque will be hung at the 44th CST, the home unit of Czarnecki and Stone.
"We are lucky to have had these two patriots for the short period of time that we had them," Gonzalez-Kerr said. "We must remember the laughter, the positive attitudes and know that they both experienced life with all its joys."