Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Orange Park Soldier 'A Hero'; He Was 42, and Made 7 Deployments - 2 to Iraq, 5 to Afghanistan

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Orange Park Soldier 'A Hero'; He Was 42, and Made 7 Deployments - 2 to Iraq, 5 to Afghanistan

Article excerpt

Byline: William Browning

Michael Duskin deployed to the Middle East with the Army on combat tours seven times. Before the last one, his father said something to him.

George Duskin told his son he was "pushing the envelope."

George was sipping coffee from a John Deere mug in front of his Orange Park home Thursday as he remembered. He was proud of his only son's service. But he was also his father. He couldn't help but worry.

His son - who joined the Army in 1993 and stood 6-foot-5 and weighed 250-plus pounds - was not worried.

"He told me, aeDad, I want to make the guys who did 9/ 11 to us pay,' " George Duskin said.

He saw his son for the last time on Labor Day weekend when Chief Warrant Officer 2 Michael Duskin left for Afghanistan on an eight-month deployment with Company A, 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, N.C.

Duskin died Tuesday of wounds received from small-arms fire in Wardak Province, Afghanistan, according to the Department of Defense.

He was 42. He leaves behind his wife, Maggie, a 24-year-old stepson, a 17-year-old son, an 11-year-old daughter, a sister, a mother and very proud father.

The Duskin family moved to Orange Park in 1970 when George Duskin, a Navy pilot who did three tours in Vietnam, was stationed at Cecil Field Naval Air Station. When he and his wife, Claire, moved into their home on Magnolia Road, she was eight months pregnant with Michael.

He attended Middleburg High School, where he was a lineman on the football team and had a sense of humor.

"Mike was a guy who got along with everybody," said Jean Chamblin Koss who, like Duskin, graduated in 1988. "He could make you laugh."

He joined the Army in 1993, the same year his father retired from the Navy.

"I wasn't real big on it at first," George Duskin said of his son joining. "I went through Vietnam and know how tough it can be. …

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