HAYDEN, CO, USA U.S. Army SSG, DETACHMENT 1, A CO, 244TH ENGINEER BN, 651ST ASG, BOULDER, CO 80303 BALAD, IRAQ 08/29/2003
Army Staff Sergeant Mark A. Lawton died August 29, 2003 when his convoy was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade north of Suaydat, Iraq. His unit was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was assigned to the 244th Engineer Battalion, U.S. Army Reserve, Grand Junction, Colorado. He was forty-one years old.
SSG Mark A. Lawton of Hayden, Colorado is a 1982 graduate of Moffat County High School in Craig, Colorado where he was a star athlete. He was born, Mark Evans and moved to Colorado with his father as a teenager, but due to behavior issues and his need for direction, Mark went to live with Lindean Lawton and adopted his last name. Mark’s life took a turn for the better, his schoolwork improved and he began running track.
Mark joined the Marines serving 14 years and was a veteran of the first Gulf War. A few years after leaving the Marines, he joined the Army Reserve. As a civilian, he was a heavy equipment operator for a Colorado coal company. Mark volunteered for duty in Iraq, even though he was scheduled for an Army school that would have kept him stateside. His motive was that he could share his combat experience with younger, less experienced troops and make sure that each of his boys came home safely.
He leaves his wife, Sherri, and young sons Dustin 4 and Tanner 1. Those who served with Mark note that he left lasting impressions on many young Marines and Soldiers. He was an outstanding Marine, and a great person. He was a wonderful Sergeant who was always optimistic about everything his Unit accomplished.