MADISON, WI, USA U.S. Army SGT, E TROOP, 2D SQUADRON, 11TH ACR, 155 BCT, (2 MEF), FORT IRWIN, CA BAGHDAD, IRAQ 05/27/2005
In Iraq, Mark Maida kept a rosary, a baptismal ring, a pendant of heaven, a St. Christopher’s medal more instruments of faith, a minister cracked, than Pope Benedict XVI.
But Maida was no saint, his brother said. He recalled a childhood tree house where his brother stashed cigarettes. “Mark liked to celebrate life,” Chris Maida said.
Mark Maida, 22, of Madison, WI. was killed May 27th from injuries sustained in an explosion in Diyarah. He was based at Fort Irwin, CA.
The 2001 high school graduate was partial to Lynyrd Skynyrd and loved the outdoors, including hunting, fishing and skydiving. He hoped to marry his girlfriend, Elizabeth “Betsy” Jacobs. He had been scheduled for discharge last October and had registered for classes at Madison Area Technical College, but the military extended his service under its stop-loss policy. He deployed to Iraq in January and adopted a puppy there named Maxine.
His brother, a former reservist, said he tried to talk his brother out of enlisting. “He just laughed. He loved life and he wasn’t afraid of anything,” Chris Maida said.
His parents, Ray and Diane, survive him.