"Black Jack" mourns fallen Soldier
June 1, 2010
FORT HOOD, Texas- Soldiers and leaders from 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division gathered to mourn the loss of Pfc. Mark West at a memorial service held in his honor, here, May 18.
West died May 8 from injuries sustained from a vehicle accident.
West joined the Army in 2008, and was assigned to Bravo Battery, 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.
"West was a friend and a battle buddy; my life was richer knowing him, and he will be missed," said Spc. George Haisle. "[He] had a short life, but I believe he managed to squeeze a lot of living in his short time here."
"Mark had a very special quality about him, and it was his kind heart," said Wesley Bernius, a friend of West. "He always made sure the people around him had the things they needed. Mark would give you his last dollar if he had it."
"I spoke to his dad, and he told me all the money Mark had saved was donated to the homeless shelter in their town," he said. "[He] told me Mark spent a lot of time there when he would come home. That's just one example of the kind of person he was."
"Mark, I will never forget the good times we had together and the many things you taught me," said Bernius.
His military awards included two Army Commendation Medals, Overseas Service Ribbon, Iraqi Campaign Medal with Bronze Campaign Star, the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Army Service Ribbon.
West is survived by his mother, Michele Mills, and his father, Mark West.