In Memory of Mark Weber

These things we do... That Others May Live 

We are barraged every day by stories full of partisan politics.  Each group demonizing the other and continually seeking to gain some advantage over their ‘adversary.’ 

In this environment, its easy to lose sight of things that are really important; things like honor, integrity, commitment and sacrifice.  I’ve recently been reminded of their value and want to share with all of my friends on here.  When I was five years old, I wanted to grow up to be a hero.  I believe that most other little boys shared this same dream.  We dreamt of braving the harshest and most dangerous conditions to save those in danger.  We dreamt of traveling to remote parts of the world, jumping out of helicopters and diving under the sea, and literally walking through fire to save others. 

An extremely small number of little boys actually grow up to fulfill that dream.  These are the rarest of the rare, the absolute best of the best.  They have a name.  They are known as Air Force Pararescuemen.  The leaders of each of these units are Combat Rescue Officers.  Every one of these guys are real Heroes.  The sustained will, discipline, training, mental and physical toughness required to become a pararescurman is unparalleled.  The United States Air Force Pararescue unit is among the most elite and most decorated members of any Special Forces group in the world.  They are also the only Special Forces unit dedicated exclusively to the rescue and aid of other personnel.  In fact, their motto is, “These Things We Do, That Others May Live.”  Their mission is preserve the lives of others while putting their own at great risk. I’m confident that we can all agree that saving the lives of others is among the most noble of all pursuits.

Captain Mark K. Weber was the third child of Ron and Marge Weber's five children, and the only male.  Mark was a few years older than our oldest child so we only saw Mark occasionally, mostly when he was home on leave or around a holiday.  Over the years, I was impressed with Mark in so many ways.  He always stood tall, was very intelligent, and extremely athletic.  As a high school football player, he was highly recruited, and chose to attend the Air Force Academy and to serve.  In addition to all of his physical attributes, it was his inherent goodness and godliness that struck me.  He was always seeking to do the right thing, and I mean ALWAYS.  After encountering Mark, I always came away with the feeling that he was actually Superman.  I had never seen such a combination of strength, talent and goodness embodied in one person. 

Mark was killed on March 15, 2018 when his Pave Hawk helicopter went down in western Iraq near the border of Syria.  I was stunned, literally frozen, when I heard the news.  Six other, equally heroic, servicemen went down with Mark in that helicopter, all seven on board were killed.  Since the day he was killed I have learned that the training that his unit goes through is referred to as ‘Superman School’ because that’s what they produce.  I also learned that the Air Force Pararescue training may be the toughest in the world, lasting almost two years.  It’s extremely difficult to get into the program and typically 80-90% wash out and don’t finish.  Since that tragic day, I have mourned and cried every day for our friends and the loss of their only son.  I have mourned for Mark and I have mourned for the life that he had yet to live, for the many lives that he would have saved and others that he would have touched and inspired.  By anyone’s standard, he was a Hero of the highest order…. And he was the most heroic person I have ever personally known.
Mark has recently been buried in Arlington National Cemetery with highest military honors, and he will never be forgotten.

Regardless of enemy threat or environmental conditions, these elite warriors stand ready to find isolated and injured people, render expert medical care, and return them safely.

We will be constructing a memorial flag pole site here in Mark's hometown.  

See the illustrated design below.  If you'd like to help, please donate by clicking the link on the right. 




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Tom Ragsdale 
Lantana, TX
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