Sgt. John M. Penich Memorial
After Sgt. John Penich was killed on October 16, 2008 in the Korengal Valley, Afghanistan, our family searched for a way to continue his legacy of taking care of his fellow soldiers. In doing so, Sgt. John M. Penich Memorial was created.
Sgt. John Michael Penich was born January 6, 1983 in Beach Park, IL. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in March of 2006 at Milwaukee, WI. Having enlisted as an Infantryman, he attended Infantry One State Unit Training with Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 54th Regiment and Airborne School at Fort Benning, GA and was subsequently ordered to Fort Hood, TX. Sgt. Penich was assigned to Viper Company, 1st Battalion, 26th Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, as a light infantry rifleman. Penich was promoted to Sgt. in March of 2008. He deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in July of 2008 and was posted to the Korengal Valley, Konar Province.
Sgt. Penich's awards include the Silver Star Medal, Bronze Star Medal with Valor, Bronze Star (Posthumous), Purple Heart Medal (Posthumous), the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal (third award), Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign with Bronze Service Star, the NATO-ISAF Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the Army Service Ribbon, the Army Parachutist Badge, the Expert Infantry Badge, and the Combat Infantry Badge. Sgt. Penich was also awarded the Brigade Soldier of the Year Award in 2007.