U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 363-09
May 27, 2009
DoD Identifies Air Force Casualties
The Department of Defense announced today the death of two airmen who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. They died May 26, 2009, near Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained from an improvised explosive device.
Lieutenant Colonel Mark E. Stratton II, 39, of Houston, Texas. He was assigned to the Joint Staff, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
Senior Airman Ashton L. M. Goodman, 21, of Indianapolis, Indiana. She was assigned to the 43rd Logistics Readiness Squadron, Pope Air Force Base, North Carolina.
For further information on Stratton, please contact the Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs office at (703) 695-0640.
For further information on Goodman, please contact the Pope Air Force Base Public Affairs office at (910) 394-4183.
31 May 2009:
Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Mark E. Stratton II, who lived in Austin Ridge in Stafford County, Virginia, was killed in Afghanistan May 26, 2009, according to the Department of Defense.
Colonel Stratton, 39, and a colleague, Senior Airman Ashton L.M. Goodman, 21, of Indianapolis, Idiana, died near Bagram Airfield of wounds sustained from an improvised explosive device.
Stratton was commander of the Panjshir Provincial Reconstruction Team. He was assigned to the Joint Staff at the Pentagon as an Executive Assistant for the Deputy Director for Politico-Military Affairs, Asia.
A Senior Navigator for the RC-135 Rivet Joint reconnaissance aircraft, Colonel Stratton had served on the staff at Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.
Colonel Stratton was raised in Foley, Alabama, and graduated from Foley High School. He received his commission through the Reserve Officer Training Corps in 1992 following his graduation from Texas A&M University in 1991.
He and his wife, Jennifer, have three children, Delaney, Jake and A.J. Stratton.
Stratton's father-in-law, contacted yesterday at the home, said the family did not want to talk to the media.
Buddy York, Stratton's stepfather, told WKRG-TV in Mobile, Alabama, “The three things that were more important to him were God, his family and the military.”
Other survivors include his mother, Janice York of Foley, Alabama; his stepmother, Debby Young of Houston; three brothers, Michael and Steven Stratton, both of Houston, and Frank Little of Foley; and his grandparents Frances Harrell, Gene and Dolly Little, and Buzz and Ellen Goins.
A funeral will be held at 3 p.m. June 7, 2009, at Mount Ararat Baptist Church in Stafford. Burial will be at 11 a.m. June 9, 2009, in Arlington National Cemetery.
The family requests that expressions of sympathy take the form of contributions to Stafford Baptist Church, 2202 Jefferson Davis Highway, Fredericksburg, Virginia 22554, or United Service Organizations, uso.org.
June 7, 2009:
STAFFORD, Virginia — Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Mark E. Stratton II was killed May 26, 2009, near Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan from wounds sustained from an improvised explosive device, according to the Department of Defense.
Assigned to the Joint Staff at the Pentagon in Arlington County, Colonel Stratton lived in Stafford County's Austin Ridge subdivision but had ties to Foley, Alabama, and Houston, Texas. He was deployed as the Commander of the Panjshir Provincial Reconstruction Team and at the Pentagon served as an Executive Assistant to the Deputy Director for Politico-Military Affairs, Asia. A Senior Navigator for the RC-135 Rivet Joint reconnaissance aircraft, Colonel Stratton previously served on staff at U.S. Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska, according to the U.S. Air Force.
Colonel Stratton received his commission through the Reserve Officer Training Corps in 1992 after his graduation from Texas A&M University in 1991. The family he left behind includes a wife and three children. Senior Airman Ashton Goodman, 21, of North Carolina, was also killed in the incident, according to the Defense Department. Based at Pope Air Force Base in North Carolina, it was her first duty assignment.
A memorial service will be held for Colonel Stratton today, Sunday, at Mount Ararat Baptist Church in Stafford at 3 p.m., with visitation from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Covenant Funeral Service in Stafford.
He is to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery on Tuesday at 11 a.m. Those wishing to attend should arrive by 10:30 a.m.
MARK E STRATTON, LT COL, USAF ADMIN BUILDING 11:00
Former 55th Wing Aviator Killed In Afghanistan
By Marc A. Anderson, 55th Wing
Friday, June 19, 2009
Lieutenant Colonel Mark E. Stratton, former 55th Wing aviator and US Strategic Command staff officer, was killed when a suicide car bomber detonated a vehicle alongside the US convoy north of Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan on May 26, 2009.
In Afghanistan, he was serving as Commander of the Panjshir Provincial Reconstruction Team, and was leading major reconstruction efforts to improve the quality of life of the Afghan people. He was 39.
Army Master Sergeant Blue Rowe, Senior Airman Ashton Goodman and Afghan national Abdul Samad were also killed in the attack.
Stratton was commissioned through the Reserve Officer Training Corps in 1991 from Texas A&M University. He held a variety of positions within the 55th WG from 1996 to 2002, culminating as executive officer to the wing commander.
A senior navigator, instructor, and evaluator on RC-135S COBRA BALL aircraft, he amassed more than 1,400 flying hours during his career as an aviator, including 26 combat hours. Following duty as 55th Wing executive officer, Stratton served as aide-de-camp to the deputy commander of USSTRATCOM during its major post-9/11 mission transition.
Prior to his assignment to Afghanistan, Stratton served in the Pentagon as politico-military planner, Taiwan desk officer and senior staff assistant in the Joint Staff Strategic Plans and Policy directorate.
Stratton's spirit was evident in the last e-mail he sent to his mother, as he described his job leading reconstruction efforts – helping people, rebuilding roads and schools – as the best thing he'd ever done.
Stratton was honored in a memorial service and laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia on June 9 with full military honors. In attendance were Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Senator Jeff Sessions and Congressman Jo Bonner from Alabama, Congressman Rob Wittman of Virginia and Congressman Ted Poe of Texas. Senior military officials included Chief of Staff of the Air Force Norton Schwartz, former 55th Wing Commanders Major General Greg Power, Brigadier General Jonathan George and Brigadier General James Jones, former 45th Reconnaissance Squadron Commander and Defense Intelligence Senior Leader Robert T. “Bo” Marlin and former 45th RS Commander Colonel James “Gap” Gapinski.
Later that day, Poe honored Stratton's service to the nation in remarks on the House floor. At the conclusion of his remarks, Poe said, “His name and life will be remembered by Aggies and other grateful Americans and by his Air Force buddies. But no doubt the people of Afghanistan will also remember this man from America, the Air Force colonel who built their schools, their water wells and their villages.
“And maybe those villagers will return once more to that mountaintop and pay tribute to this American hero, Lieutenant Colonel Mark Stratton.”
Stratton is survived by his wife, Jennifer, their three children, and his mother, stepfather and brother.
He is remembered by friends and colleagues as a dedicated and inspirational officer – a natural leader with the perfect blend of positive personality, enthusiasm, and mission focus.
Those who knew him well stated his outlook on life and his profession influenced all who knew him. He was described as the type of person that changes the lives of others; a person impossible to forget.
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Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard