At the 2:25 mark, Marine Lieutenant Colonel Frank Latt presents Mark Forester’s
parents with the American flag their son wore daily into battle under his uniform.
At last month’s Mindshare Technologies Best Practices Conference, I had the honor, once again, of wrapping up the event by recognizing an outstanding individual who embodies the Red Shoes philosophy: A service hero with a humble heart and an important story of service.
Thad Forester is the brother of Senior Airman Mark Forester, who was killed in combat on September 29, 2010 in Afghanistan while attempting to save a fallen comrade.
Since Mark’s passing, Thad has led the charge in sharing the story of his brother with the world. Thad’s book, My Brother in Arms: The Exceptional Life of Mark Andrew Forester, United States Air Force Combat Controller, was fueled largely by the remembrances of fellow soldiers from multiple branches of the military.
Every detail collected on Mark’s life and service reveals a Red Shoes individual who stood out to those he met by putting their lives above his own. For protecting and continuing that legacy, Thad Forester was brought on stage with his family and presented with this year’s Red Shoes Award.
Following the recognition, Thad updated MarkAForester.com, the site he maintains in his brother’s memory, with these kind and humble words:
I was honored to speak to the group for 10 mins about Mark’s background, what he stood for, and his desire to get between the flock that he loves and the wolves bent on their destruction. He definitely put himself out there. Mark lived a selfless life long before he joined the military. He even served as a full-time missionary for two years in Oakland, CA.
After speaking, the president of Mindshare Technologies, Lonnie Mayne, presented my wife, our son, and me each with our own pair of red shoes. We are grateful to the good people at Mindshare for inviting us and for recognizing Mark’s example of sacrifice and valor.
I consider both Thad and his late brother Mark my dear friends. Their willingness to live for others is an example to me and a testament to the profound power within every individual.