Staff Sergeant Joseph J. Hamski was born on April 30, 1983 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and graduated from Ottumwa High School in 2001. Staff Sergeant Hamski enlisted in the Air Force as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Apprentice in 2003. After completion of basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, he graduated from Naval School Explosive Ordnance Disposal in 2003. Staff Sergeant Hamski’s first duty station was to the EOD Flight at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico. He then transferred to Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea. After that he was stationed at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany. He deployed four times in his career in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. While operating in Kandahar Province, he and his Air Force team cleared lines of communication, enabled freedom of maneuver, and ensured the safety of coalition and local nationals by engaging and defeating the enemy’s weapon of choice: the Improvised Explosive Device.
Staff Sergeant Hamski’s awards include the Bronze Star Medal with “V” Device, Purple Heart Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, Air Force Combat Action Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, and the NATO Medal.
Staff Sergeant Hamski is survived by his wife Christina, his mother and stepfather Mary Ellen and Joe Winston, his sisters Jennifer Hensley and Nicole Friedman, his brother Thomas, two step sisters Lisa Rohlf and Trazon McMullen, and two stepbrothers Jo-Jo and Chad Winston.