EP 05 | Our Town Podcast | Guest: Thad Forester, Host: Patriot to the Core, Author: My Brother in Arms
Thad Forester’s brother, Mark, was killed in Afghanistan while in the 2nd day of a full-scale operation. He received the Silver Star and Purple Heart to name a just a couple of honors he received for his courageous actions before being KIA on 29 September 2010. Thad and his family started the Mark Forester Foundation to provide scholarships to students who attend Hayleville High School in Haleyville, AL, where the Foresters were born and raised. Thad walks us through their growing up years, time at the University of Alabama where he and Mark lived together, his brother enlisting in the Air Force, Mark being killed in action, and then Thad discusses his “Patriot the Core” podcast and his book “My Brother in Arms”.
Here is an excerpt from the About section of the website www.markaforester.com
As a young man of 20 years old, Mark Forester was outraged by the events of 9/11 and knew then it was his calling to fight terrorism. He received his college degree, and then enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in June 2007. Despite everyone telling him to go in as an officer, he wanted to enlist because he wanted to start from the bottom up and he 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.
He was deployed to one of the most coveted areas by Combat Controllers in May 2010, FOB Cobra (Tinsley). He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Valor for his heroic actions while engaged in ground combat against the enemy on 6 August 2010. Mark was fatally wounded during combat on 29 September 2010. He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for his actions during that fateful battle, and the Purple Heart for paying the ultimate price for freedom. He was killed in action alongside one of his Special Forces teammates. JAG 28, which was his call sign and the only name many pilots knew him by, was immediately retired after his death.
Most of his teammates/leaders who spoke at his funeral and memorial services ended their speeches with “Roll Tide” because they knew what a big Alabama fan he was. – adapted from the www.markaforester.com website.