STAMFORD, Conn. -- The son of a Stamford police officer who was killed while serving the country in Afghanistan last September was honored in a statewide ceremony in Hartford on Thursday.
A photograph of Staff Sgt. Todd James "T.J." Lobraico, a member of the New York Air National Guard and a 2008 graduate of New Fairfield High School, was added to the state’s Wall of Honor.
The Wall of Honor is a tribute to the Connecticut men and women in the U.S. Armed Forces who lost their lives in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan that began after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Lobraico's father, Todd, is an officer with the Stamford Police Department and an Air Force veteran who served in the first Persian Gulf War.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said he knows Lobraico’s father from his time as mayor.
“I knew his dad very well, and it does make it very personal,” Malloy said after a noontime job announcement in Stamford. “I got to know his dad very well while I was mayor, and he was a member of the police force.”
The Wall was conceived by Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman and Hartford radio host Brad Davis, who co-chaired its 2007 dedication and host the annual ceremony when new names are added.
“It is a solemn occasion and one in which we take very seriously,” Malloy said.
The Wall includes a framed color portrait of each service member and a podium displaying a brass plate bearing their name, hometown, branch of service and the year and location of their death. It is located in the Veterans Alcove along with other military monuments in the concourse between the Capitol and the Legislative Office Building.
Lobraico, who was 22 when he was killed, was assigned to the 105th Airlift Wing at Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, N.Y. It had deployed a team to Afghanistan at the end of June 2013. The unit is trained to secure air bases and trains and fights much like Army infantry.
He was killed when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire near Bagram Airfield.
He was on his second deployment since enlisting in the 105th Airlift Wing as a security forces apprentice in June 2008. He deployed to Balad Air Base, Iraq, from December 2010 to June 2011.
He comes from an Air National Guard Family. His father is a member of the 105th Security Forces Squadron. His mother, Major Linda Rohatsch, commands the 105th Medical Group.