Leah (11.18.14, 1:13 AM): These pictures still bring me tears and take me back to that day we all found out Mark was KIA. That was a life changing moment for me and so many others. I'm so grateful for the time I had to know Mark and even more grateful for the legacy he has left. I love y'all and will eternally be grateful to Mark. You are a wonderful brother Thad and have honorably kept Mark's memory alive.
Brad (09.29.14, 4:06 PM): Last night, I watched the movie Lone Survivor, and as I sat here searching the internet for more information on that extraordinary group of heroes, I was reminded of another hero, Mark Forester. I did not know Mark, however I was stationed at Pope AFB while he also served there, and was present for the memorial service put on in the old hanger 4 years ago. As I listened to Mark's family and teammates speak about the kind of person Mark was, I was touched and inspired. We can all only hope to be half as brave and selfless as Mark. And so, without even being aware of today's date, I found myself on this website that I've visited many times before, 4 years and 1 day after Mark bravely gave his life for his country. Today my prayers are with the family, friends and teammates of Mark Forester.
Colonel Chris Ireland (09.29.14, 11:20 AM): Dear Forrester Family,
I want you to know that today Mark was remembered by friends and collegues currently serving in the combat zone. Members of his squadron who knew him, including Chief Markham, gave testamonials. Then we all--including ~50 Soldiers and Airmen, many who did not know him--honored him with Memorial Push-ups in accordance with our Air Commando tradition.
Please know that his service, and your sacrifice, are dear to our hearts. Mark's photo hangs on our wall here in Afghanistan as a reminder of what we strive to emulate every day.
May God Bless you and your loved ones.
Col Chris Ireland, USAF
Commander, Combined Joint Special Operations Command-Afghanistan