Staff Sgt. Paul C. Mardis
Died on July 15, 2004
at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington,
from injuries sustained May 20 near Mosul, Iraq.
ODA 585, Company B, 3rd Battalion
5th Special Forces Group (Airborne)
based at Fort Campbell, Kentucky
Special Forces Condolences Book
Paul Charles Mardis Jr.
Special Forces Engineer Sergeant
ODA 585, Company
B, 3rd Battalion
5th Special Forces Group
Fort Campbell, Ky.
Sgt. Paul Mardis
Staff Sgt. Robert Norvell played Taps after the
Honor Guard fired a 21-Gun
during a memorial service
Sgt. 1st Class Donald Kabrich was wounded in the same incident, and he visited Mardis in the hospital numerous times.
"But once again, it was Paul doing the inspiring," Kabrich said at a memorial service for Mardis at Fort Campbell.
Kabrich said the incident "instantly changed" his reality. He said Mardis helped him after the blast.
"It was hugely powerful," Kabrich said. "... I was wounded, and I know Paul was too, but Paul came to my aid."
Both men, soldiers with the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), were wounded and taken to Walter Reed.
Conant said Mardis reinvented the filing system for 5th Group's Company B, 3rd Battalion after discovering some old receipts tucked away in a filing cabinet. The receipts were from former "Green Berets," as 5th Group soldiers are known, and dated in the 1980s.
"He organized a bookkeeping system, and Paul would joke that he had a" compulsive disorder, Conant said. "He always had an opinion and a better way of doing things."
Mardis joined the Army on Sept. 2, 1998, as an indirect fire infantryman. He was assigned to the 101st before becoming a Green Beret in 2001, which is fairly young for a soldier Mardis' age, according to Conant.
"For a 24-year-old, Paul got to see a lot. He worked with political parties in Baghdad and with future presidents and vice presidents of Iraq," he said.
Mardis is slated to receive posthumously a second Purple Heart. The decoration first was awarded to him after he was injured last September in Iraq.
"Paul knew the sacrifice," said Capt. Mark Ray, team commander. "What made Paul a true hero is that, despite the pain and challenge, he didn't quit."
Awards And Medals
Defense Service Medal
War on Terrorism
War on Terrorism
Mardis, a native of Palmetto, Fla. near Bradenton-Sarasota, He was born in
Coshocton, Ohio, about 65 miles northeast of Columbus. He joined the Army in 1998 as an indirect
fire infantryman. He was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division
(Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky., before becoming a Special Forces
Soldier in 2001.
Mardis went on to complete the Special
Forces Qualifications Course and then Arabic Language
at the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, Fort
He was then
assigned to the 5th SFG in December of 2002 where he participated in
Operations in support of both Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom.
Paul C. Mardis, Jr.
1997 graduate of
Palmetto High School
has died from wounds
suffered in Iraq.
Paul is survived by his wife, Kacey, who lives in Clarksville, Tenn., near Fort Campbell.
(She released a statement on behalf of the family)
"Paul loved his country, and was proud to be a part of the Special Forces," she said. "He will be missed by each of us in different ways. He is a true American
Staff Sgt. Paul Charles Mardis Jr., a 25-year-old member of the elite Green Berets, died Thursday due to complications caused by injuries suffered in combat, his sister Sherri Lawrence said Friday.
Mardis was injured May 20 in Mosul, Iraq, when his unit was attacked and an improvised explosive device struck his
The attack happened on the second day of Mardis' second tour in Iraq, she said. He had already been to Iraq from January through October 2003. The incident is under investigation, the DOD news release said.
In Iraq, Army doctors performed brain surgery, then moved him to Germany where they discovered he had developed pneumonia. The brain injury left his abilities mostly intact aside from some facial paralysis due to a severed nerve. But the pneumonia would take its toll on Mardis' body, his eldest sister said.
"His body was just worn out and couldn't fight any more," Lawrence said. "He had fought as long and as hard as he could."
Mardis had arrived at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington on May 26, according to Lawrence. Lawrence had been at her brother's side for several weeks on and off during his two-month hospitalization.
Mardis was born and raised in Coshocton, Ohio, a small town about 40 miles northeast of Columbus.
After his mother died when he was 14 years old, Mardis came to live with his sister, Sherri Lawrence, a Blackburn Elementary School fifth-grade teacher, and her husband in Palmetto. He had lost his father, a U.S. Army veteran, four years earlier. Mardis graduated from Palmetto High School in 1997.
About a year later, Mardis joined the Army. In March 2002, "He did not look at himself as a hero," Lawrence said. "He said he liked doing the job and somebody needed to do the job."
On Oct. 26, 2002, he married his wife, Kacey. The couple had recently bought a house outside Fort Campbell, Ky., where Mardis was stationed.
"He loved being in the Army, but he was torn," Lawrence said. "His enlistment was up in a year, and he was struggling with staying in or going home and starting a family."
Instead of flowers, the family has asked that contributions be made to the:
Paul Mardis Memorial Scholarship Fund
P.O. Box 1000, Coshocton, Ohio, 43812.
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