FORT BRAGG, NC, U.S.A.
SFC, A Co. 1st BN, 19th SFG (AIRBORNE), DRAPER, UT
03/21/2018, FAYETTEVILLE, NC
SFC Mark Daniel Leshikar was born September 20, 1984 in Elko, NV. Mark grew up in Pocatello, ID and Kansas City, MO. He loved to hunt, and fish. Mark excelled in academics, football and wrestling while in school.
Whether it was battling the Taliban in Afghanistan or defending a friend against a schoolyard bully, Green Beret Mark Daniel Leshikar was somebody who could be counted on to do the right thing, his mother Tammy Mabey explained.
“… the hardest part for us is that he was such a patriotic guy.” Fueled by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Mark Leshikar, who was a high school senior, asked his mother to sign a consent form allowing him, age 17, to join the U.S. Air Force.“After 9/11, his biggest dream was to protect America,” according to Tammy Mabey.
Mark went into the U.S. Air Force just after high school. He was selected for the Air Force Honor Guard while stationed at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX. Following separation from the Air Force, Mark joined the Washington National Guard. His goal was to join Special Forces.
Mark next enlisted in the Army in January 2009 as a combat engineer. He received basic and advanced individual training at Fort Sill, OK. In May 2012, Mark graduated the Special Forces Qualification Course, earning the honor of wearing the Green Beret. He was assigned to A Co. 1st Battalion 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne) as a Weapons Sergeant.
“The motto of the U.S. Army Special Forces is de oppresso liber, which is Latin for ‘to free from oppression.’ Helping the people who couldn’t help themselves — that was something my son was always so proud of,” added Tammy Mabey
SFC Leshikar deployed to Afghanistan in 2015. In 2017, SFC Leshikar volunteered to deploy to Tajikistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
SFC Mark Leshikar, an elite and respected soldier was fatally shot by a fellow soldier, a friend, on March 21st following an altercation with that soldier near Fayetteville, NC.
Mark greatly valued family, friendship, and loyalty. Among his fellow soldiers he was known for his strength, relentlessness, intelligence, and sense of humor. Mark had much more to give and his leaving this earth too early due to the circumstances of his death is tragic.
Everyone who knew and truly loved Mark will miss him greatly.