Air Commando Posthumously Awarded Silver Star

SrA. Mark Forester, an Air Force Special Operations Command combat controller, last week posthumously received the Silver Star medal for his gallantry in action in Afghanistan in 2010. An insurgent sniper’s bullet killed Forester, 29, on Sept. 29, 2010, while he was helping a fallen teammate during an assault on an insurgent safe haven in Uruzgan province, Afghanistan, according to a June 15 AFSOC release. His parents, Ray and Pat Forester, of Haleyville, Ala., accepted the award on his behalf during the June 15 ceremony at Hurlburt Field, Fla. “Though he cannot be here to accept this recognition and probably would have shunned the attention if he were, we honor and document his heroic actions in the presence of his family, his teammates, and his friends,” said Lt. Gen. Eric Fiel, AFSOC commander. “We commit his actions forever to memory as is due a true hero and brother-in-arms.” Forester’s actions “led to the elimination of 12 insurgents and capture of a significant weapons cache,” states the release. The Silver Star is the third highest combat military decoration awarded for valor in the face of the enemy. (Hurlburt report by Rachel Arroyo)