Nancy Davis (03.01.12, 7:53 PM): My husband Chris found the tag from one of the balloons released from Destin, Fl. It was found on Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City, Fl on march 1, 2012. The tag was sitting in a tree branch.
Trace (12.22.11, 11:34 AM): Hi I am an 8th Grader at west blocton middle school. We were in P.E when we saw a balloon come down on september 29 we read the note and we decided to come see the website. My prayers are with the family. Please send back. God bless!
Dennis (12.22.11, 11:33 AM): We found one of the balloons on New Smyrna Beach, Florida today (December 21). The note attached to the balloon said that it was released from Destin, Florida on September 29, 2011. The ribbon of the balloon had washed up during a recent high tide.
David Wood (11.17.11, 12:20 PM): On October 25th, I was checking on our property and cabin in eastern Franklin County, Alabama off Highway 93 near Orange Church. After opening the gate I spotted the shredded remanents of a burst ballon, bright green. Nothing else was found but that's not surprising considering the amount of newly fallen leaves on the ground. I picked up the piece of ballon and brought it back home with me to Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Read through a backlog of Northwest Alabamian newspapers (they're delayed quite a bit since I receive them in the mail). Saw the article about the ballon release for Mark Forester and it all started to add up. Don't know if it was one of the ballons released but since the cabin is in a quite remote area, don't know where else it came from. Big connection - I work with the 403rd Wing Air Force Reserve at Keesler AFB, Mississippi the same base where Mark went through Combat Controller training. I also went to school in Haleyville many years ago and still have family living there. I never knew Mark personally but consider him a "brother in arms". I read and kept all of the newspaper articles when his funeral took place last year. We are all connected.
Jessica Slade (10.28.11, 12:16 AM): I've been thinking about Mark and your family a lot lately. I knew y'all would do something very special for the one year anniversary. Next year we'll do some push-ups and release a few balloons here in San Tan Valley, AZ. God bless y'all.
Katie Bartolotti (09.29.11, 10:20 PM): on a family vacation here in Panama City Beach today around 4:00 P.M,an exceptionally beautiful, calm, sunny afternoon we were enjoying the seagulls when we were drawn to a bright blue balloon-- Upon closer inspection we saw the attached note defining it as one of Mark's balloons that had been released in Destin. We thought it fitting to perpetuate Mark's memory and spirit by encasing the balloon in a bottle along with your note and the time and location where the balloon landed. Tomorrow morning we will extend the tribute to Mark and send the bottle off from the county pier, Panama City Beach. God Bless you and your family Mark. Thank God for American heroes like you!
Stuart Edgin (09.29.11, 7:43 PM): In the last few weeks leading up to his final battle, Mark and my sister were connected through mutual friends, and had the chance to Skype and e-mail a few times. Words cannot describe the absolute grief every single member of my family felt when their new friendship was met by his untimely death. The last thing Mark told my sister (just 2 days before his final battle) was “Be good.” This simple phrase has become very significant to our family. Although I never personally had the honor of meeting Mark in this life I have genuinely been touched by the man Mark was. Never has anyone I’ve never even met made such an indelible impression on my life. Since his passing, not a week has passed since I’ve visited this website. I gain strength from the lessons Mark taught us through his character and the way he lived his life to the fullest. His actions one year ago today not only embodied the warrior’s ethos of looking after your teammates, they have forever immortalized him as an American hero. In that moment, Mark stood firm, he stayed true, and his did NOT cower. He advanced with courage. And while the opposition may have taken his life, it can NEVER touch his legacy! To the Forester family: may our Father in Heaven continue to provide you comfort. Your son/brother continues to touch countless lives and will NEVER be forgotten. While a nation grieves with you, she also rejoices for being able to claim Mark as one of her most valiant sons. My sister and I continue to wear Mark’s bracelets as a constant reminder of the man who forever touched our lives. Rest easy, Mark. Be good.
Anna Harmon (09.29.11, 6:47 PM): Thinking about you, Mark, and your beautiful family all day...and a lot this past month especially. I know you are doing good somewhere...we all just wish it were here. :)
Alex Perez (09.29.11, 6:43 PM): My Heart goes out to the Forester family and friends on today's anniversary of Mark's passing. You are all in my prayers, god bless you.
Johnny Poulsen (09.29.11, 5:51 PM): Mark- I have thought about you on a regular basis over the past year. I'm grateful that I was able to share the message of the restored gospel under your leadership in Oakland, CA. Your friendship was one that I valued dearly and one that I will cherish forever. Your testimony was strong. I'm forever in debt to you for the ultimate sacrifice you gave while defending the freedoms me and my family enjoy here in this great country. My three sons will without a doubt know who Mark Forester is!!
The Koenders / Stroh Family (09.29.11, 4:12 PM): We found one of Mark's balloons around 2pm CST off the coast of Panama City Beach, FL, very close to the St. Andrews Bay State Park. The tag said it was released from Destin. We want to send our thoughts and prayers to Mark's family and friends; and a humble Thank You to Mark for making the ultimate sacrifice for our country. You are a hero.
Tony & Tamara Carnicello (09.29.11, 1:30 PM): Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mark's family and freinds. God Bless!!!
Travis (09.29.11, 1:10 PM): Memorial push ups in Pensacola as well. We will never forget.
Robyn (09.29.11, 12:46 PM): What a neat tribute to Mark. I hope that you continue it each year, maybe we can have balloons released all over this country every September 29 as we all remember Mark.
Missy Taylor (09.29.11, 11:22 AM): Thoughts and prayers for the Forester family. Mark you will never be forgotten. God Bless
Nannette Jones (09.29.11, 11:13 AM): Thoughts and prayers for the Forester family on this day.....Thanks for sharing the pictures of the balloon release, so special.....
Air Force Wife (09.29.11, 10:48 AM): We remember Mark and the ultimate sacrifice you made to defend our country. Gone but never forgotten.
Army Wife (09.29.11, 9:02 AM): The Forester Family will be in my thoughts and prayers today,
Tracy (09.29.11, 8:44 AM): And in St Charles, MO. Love you Mark! My heart is is with all that continue to greive for his loss, and yet also swell with pride for having known Mark.
james heath (09.29.11, 8:35 AM): THANK YOU MARK. AND THANK YOU PAT,RAY AND THE ENTIRE FAMILY FOR RAISING MY TRUE AMERICAN HERO.BUT MOST OD ALL THANK YOU GOD FOR LETTING ME KNOW HIM. GOD BLESS YA'LL I KNOW GOD IS BLESSING HIM. SEE YA MARK
james heath (09.29.11, 8:34 AM): THANK YOU MARK. AND THANK YOU PAT,RAY AND THE ENTIRE FAMILY FOR RAISING MY TRUE AMERICAN HERO.BUT MOST OD ALL THANK YOU GOD FOR LETTING ME KNOW HIM. GOD BLESS YA'LL I KNOW GOD IS BLESSING HIM. SEE YA MARK
james heath (09.29.11, 8:34 AM): THANK YOU MARK. AND THANK YOU PAT,RAY AND THE ENTIRE FAMILY FOR RAISING MY TRUE AMERICAN HERO.BUT MOST OD ALL THANK YOU GOD FOR LETTING ME KNOW HIM. GOD BLESS YA'LL I KNOW GOD IS BLESSING HIM. SEE YA MARK
james heath (09.29.11, 8:33 AM): THANK YOU MARK. AND THANK YOU PAT,RAY AND THE ENTIRE FAMILY FOR RAISING MY TRUE AMERICAN HERO.BUT MOST OD ALL THANK YOU GOD FOR LETTING ME KNOW HIM. GOD BLESS YA'LL I KNOW GOD IS BLESSING HIM. SEE YA MARK
The Casarez Family (09.29.11, 7:40 AM): Our prayers are with you. Have a blessed day in memory of Mark.
Tyler Biral (09.29.11, 5:03 AM): I'll be doing push ups for you all day!!
Patrick Richardson (09.29.11, 12:35 AM): God Bless! Hooaah!
Bryan (09.28.11, 11:10 PM): Balloon's will be released by the Floyd Family in Washington State. We love you Mark and miss you. R.I.P. brother...