To Mariusz Deptuła, his family had always been always the top priority. Every person who knew him said similar things about him: open, warm, a good friend, a good soldier, a father who loved his daughter very much. Work in the army was his passion, bringing him fulfillment and numerous praises. He loved animals, especially horses. He was also a keen fisherman, trying to convince all his friends to take to the sport, and taking his wife and daughter fishing.
The birth of their child brought great happiness to Mariusz and Iwona. The father’s love for his daughter is reflected in the vast number of family photographs: dad and Julia having ice-cream, dad and Julia at the zoo, on the lake, in the park… he spent every minute of his free time with her, although he did not spend much time at home. It was as if he sensed that they did not have much time.
Julia remembers her dad, but she cannot recall his voice. They often come back with her mum to recordings from their wedding day and her mum often tells her stories about her dad before she goes to sleep.
On 23 October 2011, a Wolverine column was going back to base in Ghazni. An IED suddenly exploded under the vehicle which Mariusz was driving. He tried to save his friends and take them out of the destroyed vehicle. Unfortunately, he himself did not survive long enough to get help, although he was conscious when taken away. His injuries were too extensive.
Julia is 8 years old. She has been under our care since 2013.