Ipswich, Massachusetts, US
United States Army
MSGT, 10th Special Forces Group
Charleston, US, 07/27/1990
Having spent virtually all of his adult life in the Army, Master Sergeant Mark LaRochelle was expected to retire in about a year and return to Ipswich, his hometown.
But yesterday, LaRochelle’s family and friends comforted each other in preparation for his premature homecoming this week.
LaRochelle, 41, was among five soldiers killed in a crash of a modified UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter during a training mission about 5 miles south of Fort Chaffee in western Arkansas late Friday. Eight other soldiers were injured in the crash along a forested mountainside.
His hometown of Ipswich, MA is honoring him on 31 July 2010 at 1000 by naming a square in the Town in his honor.
From a memorial tribute:
“We remember Mark as a husband to his wife Ellen, as an involved father and as a friend who was a professional soldier. It is Mark Larochelle, the friend and professional soldier that is the sharpest image…..Mark embodied all that was good about the Special Forces. He was a friend to all fellow soldiers and an individual who good humor and positive personality were always a plus to the team.”
“It was his unique ability to coach, to teach and to explain the whys and hows of the craft that earned him the respect of all who served with him. We need to remember MSG Mark LaRochelle as we last saw him standing in the dust of Fort Chaffee. He spoke of the opportunity to teach, to truly coach; to make that ODA he was observing/controlling better for having trained during that rotation. That is the essence of the man – the professional soldier, the husband, the father, the teacher…our friend Mark LaRochelle.”