US ARMY Sergeant First Class Mark Holbert (Ret), Rockville, MD
SFC Mark Holbert entered the Army on November 13, 1996. Upon completion of basic training and jump school at Fort Benning GA, SFC Holbert was assigned to B Company 2/504 Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg North Carolina. After four years as an Infantryman, SFC Holbert changed his Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) to a Satellite Imagery Analyst.
SFC Holbert decided to attend the Special Forces Assessment Selection at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. SFC Holbert was selected in June 2002 and in February 2003 he attended the Special Forces Qualification Course. He was awarded the MOS 18B, Weapon Sergeant and was assigned to C Company, 1st Battalion 3rd Special Forces Group (A). In 2007 SFC Holbert re-classed to 18F, Special Forces Intel Sergeant.
During his fourth tour in Afghanistan, SFC Holbert stepped on an IED on 16 August 2010, resulting in his right leg amputated above the knee, his left leg is amputated to his hip from a fungal infection, he is missing multiple fingers, and suffered extensive nerve damage along his forearm, Mark continues to push the boundaries of his physical disabilities. He has completed 3 x 200 mile rely races, Marine Corp Marathon, 3 x Army 10 mile, 2 x West Point Sprint Triathlon, and 2 x Nations Olympic Triathlon. Mark’s ultimate goal is to complete an Ironman.
SFC Holbert’s awards include: BS x2, Purple Heart, MSM, ARCOM V, ARCOM x2 JAM, AAM x4, Special Forces Tab, Expert Infantry Badge, Combat Infantry Badge.
Mark is married to his wife Tiffany and they have a 7 year old daughter, Isabelle. They are currently living in Rockville, Maryland. Currently Mark is attending night school at Georgetown University and is working at the Counter-IED Operations Integration Center as an Irregular Warfare Analyst.
US Marine Corps Sergeant Aaron Alonso, Jefferson Township, NJ
US Marine Corps Sgt. Aaron Alonso, 26, was born in Jefferson Township, New Jersey, where is parents still live. He is currently in recovery and rehabilitation at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda. He was a Squad leader in 1st Batallion, 9th Marine Regiment, and was injured just this past February 2014 from an IED explosion. He received wounds that included the loss of both his legs well above the knee. He is married to Jessica, and they have a 12 month old daughter named Riley, born just weeks before his deployment to Afghanistan in October 2013. In only 6 months of rehab, he wheeled himself in a 5K race, and climbed the 88 steps to the Lincoln Memorial. A truly inspriring young man.