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Congressional Record2017/5/11Senate | House | Extensions

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E627]
From the Congressional Record Online through GPO

                           MARK R. DE ALENCAR


                            HON. MATT GAETZ

                               of florida

                    in the house of representatives

                         Thursday, May 11, 2017

Mr. GAETZ. Mr. Speaker, it is with both profound sadness and deep gratitude that I rise to pay tribute to a fallen decorated American hero. On April 8, 2017, Staff Sergeant Mark R. De Alencar, who was assigned to Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, tragically succumbed to injuries received from small arms fire in support of Operation Freedom's Sentinel in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan. Staff Sgt. De Alencar was 37 years old, but lived a lifetime marked by and full of service.

Born in a U.S. Army hospital in Nuremburg, Germany, Staff Sgt. De Alencar's childhood followed his father's military career. Graduating from Joppatowne High School, Joppa, Maryland, in 1998, he then worked odd jobs before becoming a carpenter. But it was in 2009, that he choose to follow in his father's footsteps and joined the U.S. Army.

After attending Basic Combat Training and Cannon Crewmember (13B) Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Staff Sgt. De Alencar was assigned to Bravo Battery, 2nd Battalion, 11th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

After arrival, he was deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn. Staff Sgt. De Alencar later attended Ranger School, graduated, and re-classed as an Infantryman (11B). During his time at Schofield Barracks, he served as Fire Team Leader, Rifle Squad Leader, and attended multiple training events with partnered forces throughout the Pacific; including Australian Jungle Operations, Operation Cobra Gold in Thailand, and multiple rotations to the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California.

In September 2016, Staff Sgt. De Alencar graduated from the Special Operations Qualification Course earning the qualification as a Weapons Sergeant (18B) and was assigned to Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) located at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.

Staff Sgt. De Alencar's military education includes Basic Leaders Course, Advanced Leaders Course, Jungle Operations Course, Ranger School, Airborne School, Air Assault School, Special Forces Qualification Course, and Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape School.

Staff Sgt. De Alencar's awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal with five Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Achievement Medal with 6 Oak Leaf Clusters, Meritorious Unit Citation, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal with two Campaign Stars, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Non Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Expert Infantryman's Badge, Special Forces Tab, Ranger Tab, B Badge, and the Drivers Badge.

As exemplified by his extraordinary heroism, Staff Sgt. De Alencar's life stands as a testament that freedom is not free, and his legacy will echo in time as an example of the ultimate sacrifice made in the name of freedom On behalf of a humble and grateful Nation, I hope the De Alencar family will find solace in knowing their support, love, and counsel helped make him the hero he became both in uniform and as a father. I pray that God will be with Mark's wife, Natasha; sons, Rodrigo and Marcos; stepson, Deshaun; daughter, Tatiyana; stepdaughter, Octavia and all their family and friends during this time of great mourning and may God continue to bless the United States of America. ____________________

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