25, of Jamestown, Pa.; assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 172nd Infantry (Mountain), Maine Army National Guard, Brewer, Maine; killed May 6 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his M1083 cargo truck during combat operations in Diwaniyah, Iraq. Also killed was Staff Sgt. Dale J. Kelly Jr.
To honor David, his father Ron Veverka with the help of his family chose this stone from the Pymatuning State Park in Pennsylvania. We met at a historic rest stop on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in July 2014.
Pymatuning State Park is literally where David grew up. He went to the beach there, he attended summer camp as a youth, he spend his childhood there. It is the biggest state park in PA and some of David’s best childhood adventures happened there. It is where David was first exposed to the outdoors and where he first found his love for hiking and kayaking. When not on the water, you could ALWAYS find David’s kayak strapped to the roof rack of his truck. He just loved to kayak and there is a great story where David was kayaking along the coast of Maine and he found a distressed baby seal that fell in a the crevice of a rock. David not only rescued the seal baby, he returned it to his mother, and saw the mother seal literally clap her flippers in appreciation and joy. For a while David loved hunting. That passion changed after his first assignment as a Wildlife Biology student where he was tasked to trap field mice. He was so touched by these beautiful creatures, he sent all his hunting rifles back home to Maine — he quit hunting on the spot. David excelled in Marine Biology and was chosen to study in Marine Biology Labs in San Diego, CA where some of the best research is performed in the country.
David loved dark beer and as a UMO student, you could usually find him at the BEAR BREW in Orono, ME spending time with his friends and classmates. David was a classy guy, loved and respected by so many. You might have heard David share a story about his high school days as a Basketball player in Jamestown, PA where his team NEVER won a game. But you would certainly not hear David share that after being a star basketball player, and top scorer on every game, while a member on that same losing team, his coach retired his number!
David was very near his UMO graduation when his Maine Army National Guard unit was activated. He was scheduled to graduate in May 2006, but instead he and his unit were activated in Jan 2006, and they were in Iraq by March of 2006. Just a few months later, in May 2006, he died from the convoy IED blast that took his life and the life of SSG Dale Kelly. He was only 25 years old.
David was proud to carry on the legacy of veterans in his family. David’s fraternal grandfather fought in the Battle of the Bulge in WWII and David’s father, Ron, fought in Vietnam from 1968-1969. David felt so inspired by the patriotism in his family, he joined the Army where he excelled in the military service. He was selected to be a member on a prestigious Drill Team and loved every aspect of wearing the uniform.