Since its inception, each month LHCP has honored a military service member who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Every box which is shipped from LHCP is labeled with information about the Honoree. The monthly Honoree’s story is attached to the box so others can read about those who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom. This month’s Honoree is Army Spc. Mark J. Downer.
Army Spc. Mark J. Downer
Died August 5, 2011 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom
23, of Warner Robins, Ga.; a combat medic was assigned to 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.; died Aug. 5 in Sangsar, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with a rocket-propelled grenade.
‘He always did what was best for others’
WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — Mourners packed a church here Aug. 13 as a 23-year-old soldier killed in Afghanistan was mourned and remembered by family and friends in his hometown.
More than 200 people attended the funeral service for Army Spc. Mark J. Downer, a combat medic who died Aug. 5 in a rocket-propelled grenade attack in Kandahar province.
“He always did what was best for others,” Downer’s aunt, Sandra Downer, said during the service. “The profession he chose — to be a medic — was a dangerous one, and he’s a very intelligent young man, so he knew the danger that would befall him, but he did it anyway. He strived to do his best.”
Downer joined the Army in 2009, according to the Macon (Ga.) Telegraph. He was assigned to the 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.
People lined the streets a day before the funeral as police escorted the hearse carrying Downer’s casket after it arrived in Warner Robins.
During the funeral, the soldier’s father, Garfield Downer, was presented with two medals — the Purple Heart and Bronze Star — awarded to his fallen son.
Family and friends remembered Downer as quiet. He graduated in 2005 from Northside High School, where he played football and ran track.
A former classmate, Courtney Chaplin, described Downer as funny, loving and selfless.
Army Spc. Mark J. Downer Warner Robins soldier dies in rocket attack in Afghanistan
A U.S. Army combat medic from Warner Robins died after insurgents attacked in Afghanistan, the U.S. Department of Defense announced Saturday.
Spc. Mark J. Downer, 23, died Friday of his wounds in Kandahar province. He had been injured when his unit was attacked with a rocket-propelled grenade.
He is survived by a child, his mother and his father, according to an official with the Fort Drum, N.Y.-based 10th Mountain Division. Downer served in the division’s 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team.
Downer joined the Army in December 2009 and was trained in Fort Sill, Okla., and Fort Sam Houston, Texas. He came to Fort Drum in June 2010 and deployed with his unit in March to support Operation Enduring Freedom.
His awards and decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the NATO Medal and the Combat Medic Badge.