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Mark A Wall


U.S. Army


MOSUL, IRAQ 04/27/2006

A soldier from Iowa has died from a non combat-related illness, the Army said Tuesday.

Staff Sergeant Mark Wall, 27, of Alden, Iowa, suffered a cardiac arrest in the dining facility at his unit’s base in Mosul Thursday morning, Iraq time, Army spokesman Major Kirk Gohlke said.

Wall was assigned to the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team at Fort Wainwright, Alaska. He joined the Army in February 2000 and was assigned to Fort Wainwright in June 2000.

Wall graduated from Alden High School in 1997. He participated in basketball, football, chorus and band. He also was active in 4-H and Future Farmers of America, the Iowa National Guard said in a news release.

Wall joined the Iowa Army National Guard’s Company C, 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry in 1997. He was a student at Ellsworth Community College and worked as an electrician’s helper until he joined the Army, the release said.

Guests at Staff Sergeant Mark Wall’s funeral said the 27-year-old was born to be a soldier. They also praised him as a devout man who had a deep sense of honor.

The Reverend Robert Miller told mourners at United Methodist Church about the time Wall signed up as a Wolf Cub Scout in the second grade. Miller read the Boy Scout oath – which promises to fulfill one’s duty to God and country, to always help other people and to stay physically strong. He drew parallels between that oath, which Wall took as an 11 year old, and military oath he took years later.

For his moment in time, at his age, the (Boy Scout) oath meant everything to him, said Miller. And he lived it as well as I’ve seen anyone live it.

During Saturday’s ceremony Wall’s family received two bronze stars, one of which was bestowed with valor. They also received an Iraqi Campaign Medal and their son’s dog tags.

Shelly Soderstrom’s first date with Mark A. Wall didn’t exactly follow a script. He took her panning for gold. He also picked her up late and, after the long drive, they didn’t arrive at a camp site until about 3 a.m.

Mark says, ‘We’ve got to find gold before we go to bed,’ Soderstrom said. So they did, as mosquitoes swarmed and she yearned for sleep. There was never a dull moment with Mark.

Wall graduated high school in 1997, participating in football, track, basketball, chorus, band, 4-H and Future Farmers of America.

He would always call me on my birthday, said Kathie Pickard, a former teacher. The last thing I told him was to be safe, and he said, ‘Mrs. Pickard, I’ll always be safe.’

He is survived by his parents, Arthur Wall and Helen DeWitt Wall, of Iowa Falls; two brothers, Tony Wall and James Wall, both of Alden; and a sister, Carissa Meierdierks, of Bloomington, Minn.


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