Green Beret Killed in Afghanistan
‘De Oppresso Liber’, which means ‘To Free The Oppressed’ is the motto of a Green Beret. For Staff Sergeant Mark De Alencar, it was a way of life. He was killed in Nangarhar Province in Afghanistan on Saturday while his unit was “conducting counter-ISIS operations.” The SSgt’s remains were returned home to Dover Air Force Base on Monday.
“De Alencar, 37, died of injuries from enemy small arms fire while his unit was conducting counter-ISIS operations in Nangarhar Province.” Defense Department release
Green Beret SSgt De Alencar was a member of the 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces (Airborne) assigned to Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. He enlisted in 2009, and graduated from Special Forces qualification course in 2016.
He was the recipient of numerous awards: a Purple Heart, five Army Commendation Medals, six Army Achievement Medals, the Iraq Campaign Medal with two stars, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Expert Infantryman Badge, the Special Forces tab, the Ranger tab, the Parachutist Badge and the Air Assault Badge.
De Alencar was from Edgewood, Maryland. His father is an Army veteran. He graduated from Joppatowne High School, where many of his friends remember him. One of his former teachers described him as a ‘good kid.’
“I remember Mark as a student at Joppatowne High School and a member of the football team. I remember when he joined the Army and him being very happy and excited. I recall him seeing this as an opportunity to do something better for himself and with his life.” Kilo Mack, principal at Edgewood High School and former instructor at Joppatowne High
De Alencar’s wife, Natasha, also graduated form Joppatowne High School. They have 5 children. They were married for 15 years, according to the Baltimore Sun.
A service member who has lost their life in the service of their country is a tragedy that only the families of the men and women can truly comprehend. They now must face life alone, without the strength of their spouse to carry on. Our hearts and prayers go out to the family and friends of SSgt Mark De Alencar.