Former Air Force Water Polo Player Honored with Memorial Dedication
Sept. 3, 2008
USAFA, Colo. - The Academy will honor two 2001 graduates, Capt. Derek Argel and Capt. Jeremy Fresques, in a memorial dedication Friday at 12:50 p.m.
On Memorial Day 2005, during a deployment to Afghanistan and Iraq, Argel and Fresques, who were assigned as Special Tactics Officers (Combat Controllers) upon graduating from the Academy, died when the small Iraqi plane they were riding in crashed in the Diyala Province.
To honor their memory, the Academy will install memorial display cases in Cadet Squadron 2 and Cadet Squadron 29, the squadrons Argel and Fresques were assigned to during their time at the Academy. The cases will be dedicated in a ceremony in the McDermott Library involving Academy cadets, faculty and staff, members of the 23rd Special Tactics and 6th Special Operations Squadrons from Hurlburt Field, Fla., and family and friends of Captains Argel and Fresques.
The displays will be the first at the Academy honoring Air Force Combat Controllers.
Argel was a four-year letterwinner for the Falcons' water polo team from 1997-2000. An all-conference honoree in his senior season, Argel was also an inaugural member of the Falcon Club, which recognizes the team's elite athletes. Also in his senior year, Argel tried out for the boxing team, advancing to the heavyweight finals in the annual Wing Open.
The 2005 water polo season marked the conception of the Capt. Derek Argel Memorial Award, given annually at the team's awards banquet to the athlete who demonstrates perseverance and an incredible work ethic, those attributes which most exemplify the character of Argel.