Let the memory of Cory be with us forever. Remember to speak his name.
  • Passed away on January 27, 2004 in Iraq.

This memorial website was created in the memory of our loved one, SGT Cory R. Mracek. We will remember him forever.

     Cory Ryan Mracek was born March 16, 1977 in Chadron.  He attended several different schools in the Panhandle before coming to Mirage Flats.  He attended Hay Springs High School and graduated in 1995.  He played football and basketball for four years and participated in track one year.  He attended CSC one semester and then joined the National Guard.

      He returned to Chadron after Basic training and several months later decided to join the Army.  He spent his first year in South Korea.  While there, he was given several medals.  He was chosen to be a United Nations Command Honor Guard for six weeks.  Only the best soldiers were picked from each unit.  He also had the honor of patrolling for a Four Star General, the Commander in Chief of the United States and Korean forces.

He went to Fort Campbell, KY where he trained in air assault.  He came home when his four- year tour was done and worked as a night stocker at Walmart.  The Army life was calling him after 9-11 because his country needed him.  That was what he was trained to do.

     He re-enlisted and went to training at Fort Sill, OK to be a forward observer.  He graduated from school in June 2002 and proceeded to Korea for 12 months.  Because of the war in Iraq, his tour was extended to 15 months.   He arrived in the states in October 2003 and proceeded to Ft Benning, GA where he attended training to become a paratrooper.  He loved the thrill the first time he jumped from the plane.  He graduated Airborne school on Nov. 5, 2003. It had been his dream to be a part of the 82nd Airborne Unit.   His mom, Pat, and sister, Heather, were there to pin his wings on him.  He came home for three weeks and participated in the Crestview Veterans Day program where he presented certificates to several residents.

     He loved playing video games and was very good with computers.  He would watch movies for hours and laugh at the silliest things.  He was very much a kid at heart.  His all time favorite movies are the Star Wars series.  He has boxes of Star Wars memorabilia.  He also enjoyed Lord of the Rings.  He liked the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the Denver Broncos.  Before he left for Iraq, he attended a hockey game in North Carolina.  He enjoyed it because he said there were only four in the crowd with Avalanche jerseys on. 

    He loved life and laughed constantly, and when he laughed it was contagious.  He was proud of his chosen career and his flag.  He wanted to go to Iraq to serve as he felt it was his duty.  He was deployed to Iraq on January 17, 2004.  He was in Turkey for two days and was killed 8 days later on January 27.  His awards and decorations include the Army Achievement Medal with 3 leaf clusters, Army Commendation Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Korean Defense Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Expert Badge M-16 Rifle, Expert Badge Hand Grenade, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, Driver and Mechanic Badge and posthumously received the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.

     Special speakers at the service included: CPT Norberto Menendez, Commander A/3-319; LTC Dennis D. Tewksbury, Commander 3/319 Airborne Field Artillery Regiment and Brigadier General Richard J. Rowe, Assistant Division Commander for Operations.

     Also attending services were ISG Dung H. Kim, in charge of funeral detail; ISG Wilburn E. Myatt; 15 pallbearers, SGT Christopher M. Hrubes; SGT Galbert C. Sinclair; SPC Nathaniel R. Mummert; PFCMatthew T. Rood; SPC Todd M. Sweppenhiser; SPC Michael S. Barnes; SPC Urbano A Velazco; PFC Daniel G. Dicker; PFC Ryan M. Evans; PFC Ricard M. Goller; PFC Santiago M. Reyes; PV1 Matthew M. Konopatski.

     He is survived by his parents, Jim and Pat; sisters Stacy and Heather.  Grandparents George and Charlotte Cummings of Gordon, and Jim and Mildred Mracek of Alliance.  Uncles: Bart and Bobbi Bartels (Jason, Luci), Gering; Mike and Delila Bartels (Amanda, Jackie, Curt), Chadron; Ed and Vanessa Bartels (Danielle and David), Alliance; Mike Mracek (Sarah), Hemingford; Aunts:  Sandy and Jim Heesacker (Jess, Angie), Hay Springs; Lynn and Jerry Weldon (Bill, Jenny, Faron, Jerry), Alliance;  Jean Wood (Paul), Alliance; Delvine and Clay Reames, Perryton, TX; Karan Meyer, Faulkton, SD.

     He was preceded in death by his beloved grandpa, Jack Bartels; cousin, Kayle Bartels, aunt, Toni Mracek.

     A memorial was established to the Lister-Sage Community Center in Hay Springs.  Donations were accepted by Chamberlain Chapel, PO Box 970, Chadron, NE.

     Arrangements were made through Chamberlain Chapel of Chadron with funeral services held at 1:00 pm, Wednesday, Feb 4 at the Armstrong Gym at Chadron State College with Reverend Rod Smith and Chaplain (CPT) Matthew Madison officiating. 

      Burial was held in the Gordon Cemetery with Full Military Services provided by the 3rd Battalion 319 Airborne Field Artillery Regiment.


Posted by Pat Mracek on May 27, 2019
Troy Harding, if you come this way, please look us up.   You can find me on facebook.  Thanks for remembering Cory, miss him so much.
Posted by Troy Harding on May 27, 2019
It's been 19 years now since I seen you last at Ft.Campbell.... Miss you brother. I will have to visit you on my way to my parents house in Montana. Hope to see you soon.
Posted by Rick Wenkel on January 29, 2019
We will always miss ya brother...
Posted by Charlotte Cummings on January 27, 2019
Cory Ryan, you are so missed. So proud of you and love you.  Grandma
Posted by John Adams on January 26, 2019
Tomorrow is the 15th anniversary of one of our best and brightest making to supreme sacrifice for our nation. I have a son the same age as Cory and every time we are together I think of Cory. May God keep Cory in the palm of His hand and may God bless his family.  We must never forget! Thoughts and prayers.
Posted by Rick Wenkel on January 27, 2017
I only knew you for a short time while you shared a room with me, but I think about you a lot and hope you're in peace brother... we all miss you
Airborne, All the Way
Posted by Jesse Runge on January 25, 2017
It will be 13 years tomorrow, you're missed but not forgotten brother.
Posted by Joseph Kessler on May 26, 2016
Cory it has been 12 years now. I was your roommate in Korea just before you left airborne school. You were a great soldier. I enjoyed working with you! I still have and watch those same extended play DVD set of all the Lord of the Rings Movies that you would start late at night and fall asleep to just the opening music and eave me up all night watching it. I still think of you when I watch them. I miss you my friend!
Posted by Timothy Dingey on March 29, 2016
To the friends and family of SGT Cory Mrachek . I served along side of Cory at Ft Campbell 101st Airborne Division 1/320 Field Artillery Bravo Battery from 1996-1999 . Cory was a great soldier he always was full of humor, and great spirits he loved being a soldier . I will never forget him or his personal sacrifice . It was a honor to share a foxhole with him .God Bless .

SFC Timothy Dingey
U.S Army Retired
Posted by Jake Davis on March 22, 2016

Wanted to add NASCAR's Salute from Twitter.
Posted by Jake Davis on March 22, 2016
We first met right as you came back from Basic. We played paintball, I can't remember where now. You got stuck with the pump marker. Your training paid off, and your DS would be proud, you roundly handed our asses to us.

We weren't hang out, or exchange emails type of friends. We weren't even really friends. But you were the nicest guy, and fun to be around, and you've made a lasting impression, as you still come to mind damn near 20 years later, and more frequently than you think.

You crossed paths with my father during your time in the Guard. He always spoke highly of you, and seemed very proud of your military accomplishments. You fit his definition of a good soldier. And he didn't speak very highly of very many people.

You've made some lasting impressions, and you are missed.
Posted by Charlotte Cummings on February 5, 2015
You are so missed and loved. So very proud. Will see you one day. always my HERO. Grandma
Posted by Pat Mracek on January 27, 2015
Love you Cory, miss you as much today as I did 11 years ago.
I will see you again in a little while. You are my Hero.
Posted by Angela Lane on January 27, 2015
A few nights ago I dreamt of you walking by my side. My heart so filled with joy I'd forgotten you had died. You told me to be happy and quietly took my hand and painted out a picture of glorious Beullah land. I watched you cross Jordan and tears began to form but you told me to be happy my work was not yet done. You stood there with my mother and others that I loved and told me to be happy you'd wait for me above.
Cory until we meet again you will be remembered with love.
Posted by Jim Meier on January 27, 2015
Dear Warrior, I'm certain you are at peace on this 11th Angelversary of giving your life in service to our country. We'll meet some day and you can tell me that first hand. In the meantime,
1. Along with many others, I'll do my best to honor and remember you and your many warriors in uniform who gave their life for our country.
2. The quest for peace on earth remain the dream of billions of people yet one too often shattered in reality but I believe reachable.
3. Any wisdom you can pass down on # 2 is welcome, especailly since you no doubt see things better than we on earth.
Your forever friend.
Jim Meier
Posted by Jim Meier on January 27, 2014
Hi Cory,
10 years ago today your heart stopped beating on this earth. But your bigger heart that guided your sprit and soul has never stopped beating. I'm sure you see and know that from where you view this world on a the higher perch. As you can see, good still battles evil deeds across lands and countries. You enlisted to help good prevail and so doing gave your life. Until we meet in a way I can truly understand that commitment in you, I will do my best to honor and remember you and all who also have fallen...and their families.
As you know, I've still not met your dad. Hope to one of these days. Of course, the tireless dedication your mom gives to others in God's and your name is a great acting voice more and more Nebraskan hear.
Jim Meier
Posted by Charlotte Cummings on January 27, 2014
Cory Ryan, 10 years ago today you went to live with Jesus. We miss you so and are so very proud of you. Love you Grandma
Posted by Steven Borin on September 25, 2013
Thank you Sgt. Mracek. Your we're so nice to me on assignment in Korea. I was a brand new private and you treated me with respect and represented professionalism and honor. I was so sad to learn of your passing. I will never forget you. On Memorial Day I made a cross for you on the beach in Santa Monica. God bless you and your family.
Posted by Jim Meier on January 27, 2013
Hi Cory,
You left this earth 9 years ago today. Certainly I can't explain all of that. Of you, such a young man, fighting for the freedom of others so they can live a fuller life, was taken far too early. I beieve your spirit and soul now soars freely and even wiser to guide us here to do our best. We never met, Cory, but someday we will. Jim
Posted by Charlotte Cummings on January 27, 2013
Thank you Cory Ryan. You are my Hero! Miss you and love you. Grandma
Posted by June Moore on January 27, 2013

Although I never met you on this Earth, I am anxious to meet you in Heaven. I want to tell you thanks and give you a huge hug. I know you are with God and we are told there is no sadness in Heaven, I guess the sadness is left for us on Earth. Love, June & Jim Moore
Posted by Jim Meier on July 21, 2012
You are thought of this 21st day of July as you are thought of often. I see your picture daily amongst all fallen Nebraskan's in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
We'll meet someday.
Jim Meier
Posted by Robert Jepsen on February 5, 2012
Cory, there is not a day that goes by that I don't think of you. Sometimes that day seems so very long ago, most days it feels like yesterday. Take comfort in the fact that your friends still hold this day close to their hearts. I must admit as the date draws close I am filled with sadness and remorse, but as I read the words of your friends I am filled with happiness. Thank you.
Posted by Charlotte Cummings on January 27, 2012
I am missing you so much. So very proud of you and love you. Thank you. Thank you to your family. Pat,Jim,Heather, Stacy, Jeremy and Miss Shelby. I love you all.
Posted by Pat Mracek on January 26, 2012
8 years ago, January 27, my heart broke into a million pieces when God called this paratrooper home. Missing my boy every day but am so very proud of him. I love you Cory and will see you again in your new heavenly home when God calls me home too.
Posted by Jim Meier on January 24, 2012
I live by the Elkhorn River. When I saw a majestic bald eagle fly up river today I imagined you and all your fallen comrades atop these eagle's wings. Thanks for the sign and helping me remember.
Posted by Angela Lane on January 24, 2012
I'd light a million candles everyday to see your smile again and can only wish it were so easy. Thank you for all that you gave. You will always be my hero-man.
Posted by Angela Heesacker on January 23, 2012
Cory, I miss you deeply. I miss your laugh and your Beavis and Butthead impersonations. I copy them sometimes. You know up until a couple years ago I thought they made a mistake and I would see you driving up to our house in your red and gray suv, whatever that thing was ha! But, it was soon time to embrace the fact that God needed you more than us and I know that you are in an awesome
Posted by Angela Heesacker on January 23, 2012
place. You are an amazing person, my cousin, and my hero. I love you! And in 4 days here is to you being in heaven for 8 years! Always remembered, always loved, and always a hero.
Posted by Charlotte Cummings on January 23, 2012
Cory, On the 27th of January you will have been in Heaven 8 years. Sometimes it feels shorter and sometimes it feels longer. I miss your laugh, jokes and also you had great compassion for family and friends. You gave us a gift of freedom. We were so thankful to God for letting us have you for a time. He decided your work on earth was complete so he took you home.Proud of you Love yo
Posted by Charlotte Cummings on November 27, 2011
You are so missed. Thank You for your service, and sacrifice, so we can remain free. God has you in his care and one day we will see each other again. I love you. You are my HERO. Grandma
Posted by Debra Burlingame on November 21, 2011
Those of us who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001 can never adequately express our gratitude to men and women like Sgt. Cory Mracek. He answered the call, giving his life for a high cause: Liberty. I love this young man; I only hope that the hard reality of his death has been eclipsed by the dear memories of his life. God be with you, Cory, American Patriot, and with your family.
Posted by June Moore on November 19, 2011
Cory, I never met you on earth but am so honored to be able to meet you in Heaven. Your Mom has shared a lot about you and I feel like I will know you instantly when I see your beautiful smile. Please make sure and find Jason, my son, you sound so much alike. We will keep your family in our prayers . Til we meet Cory.....  June
Posted by Cliff Leach on November 18, 2011
Thank you for your service to our country Cory. Your supreme sacrifice will never be forgotten. Your family is the greatest.
Posted by Jim Meier on November 18, 2011
Dear Cory,
We never met. Yet I feel close and connected to you spirit. And I deeply believe your sprit sings, soars and gives solace to those that dearly miss your physical presence. I promised your mom that even though I never met you I will never forget you. Your service and ultimate sacrifice is honored and deeply valued. Jim Meier

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