KIA September 29, 2010
Operation Enduring Freedom
Assigned to the 21st Special Tactics Squadron, Pope Air Force Base, North Carolina
Air Force SrA Mark Forester was killed in action while moving to the aid of a fallen teammate during an assault of an insurgent safe haven in Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan. He was killed in action alongside one of his Special Forces teammates, SFC Calvin Harrison.
Mark was serving as a full-time missionary for the Mormon church in California when our nation was attacked on September 11, 2001. As a young man of 20 years old, he was outraged by this act and knew then it was his calling to fight terrorism. He received his college degree from the University of Alabama and enlisted in the Air Force in June 2007. Despite everyone telling him to go in as an officer, he wanted to enlist in order to start from the bottom up. He also knew his chances of getting better deployment opportunities would be increased as an enlisted airman. He wanted the toughest job the military could offer, and Air Force Combat Controller was what he was looking for.
Forester was deployed in May of 2010 to one of the most coveted areas by Combat Controllers, Forward Operating Base Cobra (Tinsley). He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Valor for his heroic actions while engaged in ground combat against the enemy on August 6, 2010, and after being fatally wounded on September 29, 2010, he was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for his actions during that fateful battle.
SrA Mark Forester was 29 years old from Haleyville, Alabama
Original portrait was presented November 16, 2012, to his family during a special event hosted by the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama.