KIA October 14, 2004
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Assigned to 44th Engineer Battalion, Camp Howze, Korea
Army PFC Mark Barbret was killed October 14, 2004 when a rocket-propelled grenade struck his vehicle in Ramadi, Iraq. Also killed in the explosion was SSG Omer Hawkins II. SGT Bennie Washington died January 4, 2005 from injuries he sustained that day.
Letter written from Mark’s mother, Angela Barbret:
We personally know the courage, strength, conviction, honor, loyalty, endurance and patriotism our troops are made of. They have a bond with each other that is truly amazing. Something us civilians can only slightly understand. Because of this bond my son didn’t want to stay “inside” the walls of his Camp, he volunteered to go out on missions to protect and serve his fellow troops, to protect and serve his son, Christian, and to protect and serve all of us back home in America. Mark, living up to the meaning of his name – Mighty Warrior and Strong Defender –
Before he left for a long convoy into Ramadi Mark e-mailed home:
“Mom, these convoys get many attacks, so can you do something for me? If something happens over here, and I should die, put ‘FOR MY COUNTRY’ above my name on my tombstone, and fly the American Flag in front of the house all day and night, no matter what the weather is like, and give my Army ring to Christian.” I replied that I would do everything he asked, but added, “Don’t think negative, you know what a worrier I am, and I am not worried. You are going to be fine…”
My oldest son was preparing to go into war and die for his country, and I didn’t “GET IT”. I get it now. My husband, Mark’s Dad, his brother and sister, and Christian, Mark’s three year old son, and countless family, friends, and neighbors-they all get it now… We all understand the heroism and sacrifice of all our military, past and present. They are truly amazing men and women whom we cannot praise, thank, and remember enough.
PFC Mark Barbret was 22 years old from Shelby Township, Michigan
Original portrait was presented to the Barbret family on Septmeber 14, 2009 during a special memorial event held near Detroit, MIDONATE in memory of