On 22 November 1993, Croatian Homeland War hero Mario Luetić was killed in action on the “Southern Battlefront”.
Mario Luetić was born on 3 April 1967 in the Župa Biokovska between Zagvozd and Vrgorac. His father Jure was a professional driver, mother Ana a homemaker and Luetić grew up with his two brothers Bruno and Ante. He attended primary school in Župa and Vrgorac and high school in Split. Luetić graduated from the Faculty of Shipbuilding in Zagreb and received the Dean’s Award as one of the best students in his class.
Employed as a shipbuilding engineer, Luetić volunteered to participate in defending Croatia in early April 1992 as a member of the 115th Imotski Brigade of the Croatian Army. He later joined the ranks of the 4th Guard Brigade from Split where he distinguished himself as a top artilleryman. Thanks to his precise calculations, Luetić destroyed many enemy strongholds on the Dubrovnik battlefront with the self-propelled “Raga” missiles.
Luetić’s restless spirit and desire for more combat action led him to join the Special Forces of the Ministry of Defense, initially with the “Matija Vlačić” and then Zrinski Battalion, where he shared his knowledge as an instructor with the engineering service. He was 26 years old at the time of his death and was killed along with fellow soldiers Igor Braović, Krešimir Kober and Damir Škof. Luetić was buried in the local cemetery in Župa Biokovska and his commander Miljenko Filipović was among the many who who bid farewell to him:
It is difficult to say anything, to find any appropriate words at all when the earth covers yet another Croatian youth, when sorrow covers another of our hopes and joys, yet on the other hand I can speak with love and pride about our Mario, our departed Croatian knight. He lived for his Croatian Homeland, nobly gave himself for his Croatian people and in the end selflessly laid down his young life for future youth and happiness of his beloved Croatian people and his long suffering Croatian Homeland. Therefore, this is not a death through which something disappears… this is a death from which a new life blossoms, a hundred new lives; thousands of new lives will emerge and blossom from this premature but committed Croatian death. This is a death that out of its eternal bliss tells everyone, “Dear friends, dry your tears and to those dearest to me, do not cry. I have laid down my life for the sacred ideals of my Croatian Homeland, for a bright future for the Croatian people and with your self-sacrificing work, do everything to make that bright Croatian future happen as soon as possible… that the sun of peace and love warm all those who suffered and all those who were victims!” Dear bereaved relatives, accept my sincere condolences and deep gratitude for giving this people and this country such a wonderful and brave Croatian son. And you, our dear Mario, rest in God’s peace and joy! Your Croatian people will constantly watch over you and tell future generations of your love for your people and the Homeland. May the earth of our martyred Croatia rest easy upon you.
Turić, Gordana. U viteza krunica (knjiga III). Zagreb: Udruga roditelja poginulih branitelja Domovinskog rata grada Zagreba, 2008
Monograph 1. hrvatski gardijski zdrug, Zagreb: Ministarstvo obrane Republike Hrvatske, Glavni stožer Oružanih snaga RH, 2011
BIjakova: “Heroji Domovinskog rata”, access achieved November 16, 2019, https://bijakova.com/zupljani/heroji-domovinskog-rata/
Graduated with a Master’s Degree in History from the University of Zagreb. He has worked at the Croatian History Museum and as a researcher for the popular TV Calendar program for Croatian Radio and Television. He has authored several books and documentaries about Croatia’s Homeland War and is the creator/producer of the immensely popular “It Happened on this Day – Homeland War” Facebook page as well as the online portal Domovinskirat.hr. Borna also is the host and editor of the daily segment “Patriotic Minutes” on Croatian Catholic Radio. He created CroHis to promote the values of the Homeland War and ensure that the sacrifices of those who defended Croatia’s independence would not be forgotten.