Senior Airman Elizabeth A. Loncki

Driven by a competitive spirit, Elizabeth A. Loncki wasn't afraid to try something new or to set high standards for herself. She was a 5-foot-5 dynamo who would do 51 "real" push-ups to her father's 50, draw a crowd at the gym and, after achieving a high score on the Air Force entry test, choose to become one of the few women working as bomb disposal technicians. "She said, 'That's what I want to do,' and that's what she did," grandfather Walter "Pop" Loncki said. "There was no stopping Elizabeth." Loncki, 23, of New Castle, Del., was killed Jan. 7 by a car bomb in Mahmudiyah. She was a 2001 high school graduate and was assigned to Hill Air Force Base. She played volleyball, basketball and softball and was honored as one of her class's most valuable athletes. For Christmas, her dad got a pen that delivers an electric shock to users; Elizabeth used it on her commander. "She was probably the only one who could get away with it," said an aunt, Tina Masiello. She is survived by her father and stepmother Stephen and Christine Loncki; her mother Ann Roberts and her husband, Joey.

Published online on Jan. 8, 2007