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Pinckneyville soldier who died in Kuwait was 37-year-old mother of 5

CARBONDALE — A Pinckneyville woman is one of two soldiers from an Army Reserve unit in Illinois who died Tuesday while serving in Kuwait.

The Department of Defense on Thursday announced the deaths of 37-year-old Sgt. Holli Bolinski of Pinckneyville and 20-year-old Spc. Jackson Johnson of Hillsboro, Missouri.

Both soldiers died Tuesday as a result of what the Department of Defense called a "non-combat related incident." Stars and Stripes reported an Army statement said the soldier's vehicle collided with a civilian commercial tractor-trailer. 

Bolinski and Johnson were both reservists assigned to 657th Transportation Company, based in Belleville. They were deployed to Camp Arifjan, a joint installation in Kuwait, to support Operation Spartan Shield.

Bolinski is the wife of Robert Bolinski and the mother of five children. 

She volunteered with the Wyatt D. Eisenhauer Memorial Fund and helped with annual ride held in memory of Eisenhauer, of Pinckneyville, who was killied in action May 19, 2005, while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. 

A post on the Wyatt D. Eisenhauer Memorial Fund Facebook page expressed the Eisenhauer family’s gratitude for Bolinki’s help with the ride and for the care and concern shown to Eisenhauer's mom, Gay. 

U.S. Rep. Mike Bost of Murphysboro in a statement said the news of Bolinski's death is "gut-wrenching."

State Sen. Paul Schimpf of Waterloo said on Facebook it is a "tragic reminder that even when the bullets aren't flying downrange, our service members are still in danger every day that they serve."

— The Associated Press contributed to this story. 


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