Fallen Soldier: Mark D. Vasquez

Mark D. Vasquez
Dates: Died November 8, 2003
Hometown: Port Huron, MI
Branch of Service: Army
Rank: Staff Sergeant
Player: August Meekhof

Staff Sergeant Mark D. Vasquez, 35, of Port Huron, Mich., was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, at Fort Riley, Ks. On November 8, 2003, SSG Vasquez was killed while riding in a Bradley Fighting Vehicle that was struck by an improvised explosive device in Fallujah, Iraq.

SSG Vasquez attended Port Huron High School. Before joining the Army in April 1993, he had little direction or discipline, but he thrived in the Army; it was the guidance and discipline he needed. He was first stationed in Hawaii, followed by Fort Lewis, where he attended Airborne school and received his Ranger Tab in August 2003.

SSG Vasquez loved being active and missed his unit’s first deployment to Iraq while training in the U.S. Army Ranger School at Fort Benning. Those close to him say SSG Vasquez hoped another chance would come. Friend Jeff Parr remembered Staff Sgt. Vasquez as fearless. “If it was dangerous, he wanted to do it. And I’m sure he would rather it be him than anyone else.”

SSG Vasquez’s wife is a Folds of Honor Scholarship recipient.