View Full Version : SSG Mardis

07-16-2004, 18:24

I didn't want to post here until it was officially released and it just got released as you can see. The memorial will be next week at Fort Campbell, KY with other plans to follow.

RIP, Dan

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Soldier supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Staff Sgt. Paul C. Mardis, Jr., 25, of Palmetto, Fla., died July 15 in Washington, D.C., from injuries sustained on May 20 in Mosul, Iraq, when his vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device. Mardis was assigned to the Army�s 3rd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group, from Fort Campbell, Ky.

The Reaper
07-16-2004, 18:42


Prayers out.


Ambush Master
07-16-2004, 19:24

Prayers for all.

07-16-2004, 19:31
Dunno which is worse, to lose an old friend or to lose a young tiger like this that you never got to know.

Fortunately, most of the people appreciate what we do, even if a few bitter-enders from the Ba'ath and Democratic parties don't.

RIP, Mardis... sorry this is the way it turned out, but your name is forever honoured in the SF Regiment. Your place in Valhalla is assured.

It is with your 5th Group brothers -- about 800 from Southeast Asia, and a handful from this war....


Jack Moroney (RIP)
07-16-2004, 19:48
RIP Paul.

07-16-2004, 22:19
RIP Warrior.

07-17-2004, 06:17
En Paz Descansa

07-21-2004, 00:21
That fucking sucks....I'm OCONUS and was having a great time until I logged on the net and read this.

I know Paul and he was a good fucking dude. He was an 18C and we went through the SFQC together.

When I get back CONUS, I'll put up a pic of him from the Q.

RIP Paul.

07-21-2004, 11:14
He was only 25, but soldiers with the 5th Special Forces Group say that Staff Sgt. Paul Mardis was a leader beyond his years. Mardis was severely injured May 20 near Mosul when Iraqi insurgents set off an improvised explosive device, hitting his vehicle. The young Green Beret died from his wounds last week.

Friend SSG Mark Conant said, "He was a quick learner and a great asset to the team. Personally, he was a great friend. And it's a tragic loss."

Sgt. 1st Class "Avi" Campagne was with Mardis when they were attacked. Several soldiers were injured, but Mardis was most at risk.

"He felt he was safe," said Campagne. "That's why he took the most dangerous position in a vehicle that wasn't even protected. He chose that and he stood his ground and he would have done it again."

Everyone thought Mardis would survive. But after two months at Walter Reed Army Hospital, he died from his injuries.

"We never expected Paul would go. We knew he would be fine. We expected to see him in two or three months walking down this road," said Campagne.

One thing friends remember most about Paul Mardis is that he never gave up - not on the battlefield, and not during the two months he fought to survive.

SFC Donald Kabrich said, "I think in Paul's heart of hearts, he knew he was dying. Yet he spent all of his energy being there for us and helping us along. He lasted as long as he could."

Most of the 5th Group soldiers are still in Iraq. They held a memorial there at the same time loved ones honored him here at home. Through many tears, fellow warriors said that Sgt. Mardis will never be replaced, and certainly, never forgotten.

"Paul, I salute you, brother, for the man you were and the saint you have now become," said Kabrich.

Sgt. Mardis is survived by a wife and two sisters. The soldier's family has set up a scholarship fund in his name. Contributions can be sent to the Paul Mardis Memorial Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 1000, Coshocton, OH, 43812.

07-21-2004, 11:15
FORT CAMPBELL, KY. -- Twice this week, loved ones of Staff Sergeant Paul Mardis Jr. will be honoring and mourning the man who gave his young life for his country.

Formerly a student of Coshocton High School before moving to Florida, Paul died Thursday, July 15 of complications from combat injuries sustained in northern Iraq on May 19.

A military memorial service was held Tuesday in Fort Campbell, Ky., and a funeral is scheduled for Saturday in Coshocton.

Paul's sister, Sherri Lawrence, recounted his life as an endeavor to do his absolute best with everything he tried. His long list of achievements and decorations accumulated over six years of military service bears witness to that account.

"He firmly believed that he was defending his country," Lawrence said Monday. "He never did anything half, he always went above and beyond what was expected."

These habits dated back to Paul's childhood, broken as it was by setbacks -- the kind most children dread most -- the deaths of his parents. His father, Paul C. Mardis Sr., died when Paul was 10; his mother, Mary Ann Mardis died when he was 14.

Sherri Lawrence, nine years older than Paul, and her husband Tollison became Paul's guardians. At the end of his junior year, there was another disruption in his life: Sherri and Tollison moved to Florida for Paul's senior year -- something he wasn't happy about since he wanted to graduate with his friends.

But he kept in touch with his Coshocton friends throughout the year and also when he went to work at a fiberglass company and attended community college in Bradenton, Fla.

One of those close friends was Kacey Carroll, whom he married in October of 2002.

Once in the armed forces, Paul Mardis continued to excel.

According to army spokesperson Kelly Tyler, Mardis gained his first experience in the Middle East serving in the Sinai desert. He was tapped for training in the Special Forces engineer course and was an honor graduate at basic airborne school.

After he became a member of the Green Berets, he and his combat engineering unit were deployed to Iraq where he received the first of his two Purple Hearts after he was injured in a raid Sept. 12, 2003.

After recovering from his injuries, he returned to his unit.

"He wasn't about to let his brothers go over there on a tour and him not go with them," Lawrence said.

Paul's decision to join the Army didn't come until shortly before he enlisted.

"Actually, he wanted to go to college and play football -- he didn't really have the financial means to be able to do that," Lawrence said. "The main reason he joined was to get the GI Bill, to get the college degree."

At the time Paul was injured in northern Iraq, he was considering leaving the Army when his term of enlistment expired in May of 2005. He wanted to continue being with his brothers in arms while they were still deployed. However, he also wanted to start a family. But he felt the uncertain lifestyle of a Special Forces team member might be less than ideal for one who wishes to raise children.

"He didn't want to miss his kids growing up," Lawrence said. "In his line of work -- he could be gone 30 days or 30 months."

By the time he was injured he hadn't made up his mind, although he did put in an application with the Ohio State Highway Patrol. He also wanted to finish at least an associate's degree.

Eventually, Paul would become a victim of what the Army calls an IED -- Improvised Explosive Device, or what the news media usually calls a "roadside bomb." He was riding in a "Humvee" vehicle standing in the gunner's position.

Paul suffered head injuries and doctors performed brain surgery on him in Baghdad. He was then transferred to a hospital in Germany before being flown back to the U.S. to recover at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C.

At that point Sherri Lawrence and his wifekept Paul company at Walter Reed. But over the next two months he suffered from various complications, including pneumonia and pancreatitis.

The pneumonia initially receded, but it was discovered again the day before he died, Lawrence said.

Paul's death came as a shock to everyone including his Army brothers still in Iraq, Lawrence said. Although an autopsy has been performed, it will be weeks before the cause of death is determined

The family has established the Paul Mardis Memorial Scholarship Fund to benefit Coshocton High School students wishing to enter college. The goal, Lawrence said, is to help students who find themselves in the same position as Paul was in 1998 -- wanting to go to college but without the means to do so.

"That way, all of us will have a part in getting someone to go to school," Lawrence said.

07-21-2004, 11:17
Staff Sgt. Paul Mardis Jr., a Purple Heart and Bronze Star recipient, was remembered Tuesday for his bravery as a Green Beret and some superb organizational skills.

Mardis, 25, of Palmetto, Fla., died Thursday at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., from injuries suffered near Mosul, Iraq. A roadside bomb detonated May 20 while he was on watch position in a Humvee. He was the 3rd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group junior engineer on the scuba team, ODA 585.

"He took the most dangerous position in the least defendable vehicle," said Sgt. 1st Class Donald Kambrich, who was also wounded. "Paul was coming to my aid. ... Paul brought bravery and courage to a whole new level."

Mardis' sister Sherri Lawrence said doctors performed brain surgery, and several weeks ago he began improving before contracting pneumonia.

Kambrich and other members of Mardis' 12-person team spoke of an extremely dedicated soldier, from making it his personal mission to overhaul the team's record-keeping system to keeping up the fight after being wounded last year.

Mardis was wounded in September during a raid on al-Qaida terrorists in northern Iraq. Mardis was treated for those injuries at Walter Reed Medical Center, but was determined to get back to the war. He was awarded the the Bronze Star for Valor and the Purple Heart.

"Even if we got hit, he would have done it again," said assistant operations team Sgt. Avidail Campagne.

"He was trying to get back into the fighting."

Mardis enlisted in the Army in 1998 as a combat infantryman and was stationed at Fort Campbell later that year. He was deployed to the Sinai and afterward went through Special Forces training. He returned to Fort Campbell and was deployed in January 2003 and again in May.

"It was truly a privilege to have a soldier like Paul," said Capt. Mike Ray, commander of Mardis' team. "He did not operate by blind faith. He knew the sacrifice. ... Those of us that knew him well can tell our children that we fought beside a true American hero."

The funeral and burial will be Saturday in Coshocton, Ohio, where Mardis was born.

Survivors include his wife, Kacey Mardis, and two sisters.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Paul Mardis Scholarship Fund, c/o The Ohio Heritage Bank, P.O. Box 1000, Coshocton, OH 43812.

07-21-2004, 11:18
Staff Sgt. Paul Mardis Jr.

07-21-2004, 11:18
Fellow team members Sgt. Avidail Campagne, right, and Sgt. 1st Class Donald Kabrich speak about Mardis.

07-21-2004, 11:19
Staff Sgt. Robert Norvell, 101st Airborne Division Screaming Eagle Band, plays taps after the honor guard fired a 21-gun salute during a memorial service for Staff Sgt. Paul Mardis, B Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group. The service was Tuesday at Fort Campbell's Memorial Chapel.

07-21-2004, 11:24
Blue skies:

Rest In Peace:


07-21-2004, 22:16

07-22-2004, 12:36
rest in peace.

08-03-2004, 14:31

I didn't know Paul, but it still hits close to home. I served in B/3/5 from 95-99. Go with God brother!

08-03-2004, 14:39

I didn't know Paul, but it still hits close to home. I served in B/3/5 from 95-99. Go with God brother!