KIA: 8/26/1971 – 4/15/2006
Specialist Mark Melcher, Pennsylvania Army National Guard was born in Pittsburgh, PA on Aug. 26, 1971 to John and Kathy Melcher. Three months after graduating from North Catholic High School in 1989, he entered the Army and was sent to Fort Knox for basic and Armor training. During those six weeks, Mark was transformed from a rebellious teenager to a responsible and respectable man. These were traits he would carry with him throughout his short life. Mark served as an Armor crewman during the Gulf War.
Mark left the Army in 1993 and returned to his hometown where he was employed by Mellon Bank in the specialty division. He was praised by his superiors as well as the workers he supervised. He was an avid Steelers and Penquin fan. For many years, however, he regretted leaving the Army. After 9/11 he decided to sign up with the PA Army National Guard. He trained with Company C at the Fluck Armory in Friedens, PA. He deployed to Iraq and joined the 1st Battalion,103rd Armor, 28th Infantry Division in Al Taqaddum, Iraq. On April 15, 2006, while on patrol Mark was tragically killed by sniper fire. He is survived by his father, mother and older brother John Jr.
Mark loved the Army and loved his country. A Facebook message from Mark’s com-mander, Logan Kent, sums up how his friends and family have remembered Mark over the years: "…You did your duty, fought well, and I’m proud to have known and served with you Mark! You were one of my best tank crewman and soldiers I ever had and a good friend! Your sacrifice is never forgotten, and you and your family are forever in our hearts in the 103rd Armor."