Mark Norman Stubenhofer – Captain, United States Army

NEWS RELEASE from the United States Department of Defense
No. 1274-04
December 9, 2004

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Captain Mark N. Stubenhofer, 30, of Springfield, Virginia, died December 7, 2004, in Baghdad, Iraq, when his unit was conducting dismounted operations and was attacked
by small arms fire.   Stubenhofer was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry
Regiment, 1st Armored Division, Fort Riley, Kansas.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Army officer killed in Iraq is remembered by family

SPRINGFIELD, Virginia – An Army officer killed in Iraq was known for his attention to detail, his devotion to his children and his commitment to his country, his mother said Saturday.

“His life was his family, his children,” Sallie Stubenhofer said of her son, Captain Mark N. Stubenhofer. “Everything he did when not being a soldier was being with his children and his wife.”

Stubenhofer, 30, was Commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Company of the 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry, 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division, at Fort Riley, Kansas. The native of Springfield, Virginia,  was killed Tuesday by small arms fire during a patrol in Baghdad, the Army said.

It was his second tour of duty in Iraq. He returned to the country over the summer after spending six months there in 2003.

Stubenhofer graduated from West Springfield High School in 1992. After graduating from Clemson University with a history degree in 1996, he went straight into the Army. He was first stationed in Alaska and had been at Fort Riley since 2001.

His mother, a part-time tutor in Fairfax County, said her son had received a Bronze Star for helping liberate five cities in Iraq.

Stubenhofer enjoyed country music and “he liked to talk,” his mother said. “Mark was a born debater, and he could outsmart you. You could never win. It was always a family joke.”

He could also challenge high-ranking officers. Sallie Stubenhofer said one of her son's superiors told her a story about a lengthy meeting that was being wrapped up. After he asked for final questions, Stubenhofer looked up and pointed to one overlooked detail. Her son, he told her, was always right.

“He said it drove him nuts,” she said. “I said, ‘Tell me about it. I raised him.'”

Stubenhofer is survived by his wife, Patty, and three young children, including a baby girl born July 28.

“He never saw her,” Sallie Stubenhofer said. “He actually managed to call from Iraq and get on the phone in the delivery room. We have a picture of Patty holding the phone to the baby's ear. He got there the best way he could.”

A memorial service will be held at Fort Riley on Monday, said Norm Stubenhofer, his father. He will be buried Friday at Arlington National Cemetery, his mother said.

‘He was a great kid'

By Jason Jacks
15 December 2004

A U.S. Army officer who was a former student government leader and baseball player at West Springfield High School was killed in Iraq earlier this month.

Captain Mark N. Stubenhofer, 30, a former student vice president and 1992 graduate of the school, was in the middle of his second tour of duty in the country when he was struck by small-arms fire while patrolling the streets of Baghdad on December 7, 2004, Army officials said.

Stubenhofer was a company commander in the 1st Armored Division based out of Fort Riley, Kansas. He had been in Iraq since June.

“I remember him as being a real good kid and involved in the student government,” said former West Springfield principal Glynn Bates.

“He was a great kid,” echoed Ron Tugwell, Stubenhofer's baseball coach in the early 1990s. Stubenhofer played second base on Tugwell's 1991 state championship team.

“He was tenacious and a hard worker,” Tugwell added.

The retired coach said he also remembered Stubenhofer as a strong leader.

“I heard he could have taken a desk job. But he wanted to be out there with his men,” he said. “That was the type of person Mark was.”

Stubenhofer, who will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery on Friday, is survived by his wife, Patty, and three children, according to published reports.

West Springfield Grad Killed in Iraq

Captain Mark Stubenhofer was a member of the varsity baseball
team and student government at West Springfield High
By Glenn McCarty
December 16, 2004

Mark Stubenhofer was the consummate team player and a dedicated friend and father, according to those who remember him from West Springfield High School.

Stubenhofer, a 30-year-old Captain in the U.S. Army, was killed on December 7, 2004, in Iraq as his mechanized infantry unit was attacked by insurgents outside its vehicles in Baghdad.

His extended family, along with wife Patty Stubenhofer and children Lauren, 5, Justin, 2, and Hope, 4 months, attended a ceremony in Kansas before returning to Virginia for services tomorrow at Arlington National Cemetery.

“Mark was one of those kids who was very unselfish and would put the team ahead of his personal goals. You don't find that very often,” said Ron Tugwell, who coached varsity baseball at West Springfield High until retirement in 2000. Stubenhofer, who graduated in 1992, was a utility infielder on the Spartans' state championship team in 1991, and the state semifinalist in 1992. Tugwell remembered Stubenhofer as a valuable part of those teams.

“He had quiet leadership skills. When you get into teams with a lot of high-profile-type kids, he wasn't one of those, but he was a kid who complemented those kids,” said Tugwell.

Stubenhofer entered the U.S. Army through an ROTC program at Clemson University. After graduation, he married Patty. They were wed in two ceremonies, one in her hometown of Roanoke and one in Springfield.

“He was a dedicated father and really believed in what he was doing. That's why he was over there, in the position he was in,” said Beth Roop, a math teacher at West Springfield, who attended Stubenhofer's wedding and remained a close friend of his family.

While in the Army, Stubenhofer was certified as an Army Ranger and was a jump instructor. He earned a Bronze Star during his first tour of duty in Iraq in 2003, then returned for a second tour in June. During that time, Stubenhofer was promoted to company commander.

He had three children, the most recent of whom was born after Stubenhofer departed Fort Riley in Kansas, where he was most recently stationed.

“He was always interested in helping others,” said Roop.

While a student at West Springfield, Stubenhofer was the student government vice president and a member of the Homecoming Court.

“This is the first young man I've been that close to who has died in the war,” said Tugwell. “It really hits home.”

Neighbors Honor Soldier Who Touched Many Lives
Fairfax Man Killed in Iraq Draws Huge Outpouring

By Nikita Stewart
Courtesy of the Washington Post
Saturday, December 18, 2004

The funeral procession for Army Captain Mark Stubenhofer was so long yesterday that his family had to wait a half-hour in blustery winds before the service could begin at Arlington National Cemetery.

The crowd continued to swell as Stubenhofer's flag-draped coffin was removed from a horse-drawn caisson and carried to his grave. The mourners included friends he'd made in the Army and classmates from Fairfax's West Springfield High School, all of whom had come to pay their respects to the soldier, who was killed December 7, 2004, in Baghdad during an attack by insurgents.

Patty Stubenhofer mourns her husband next to Major General Dennis E. Hardy and her father-in-law, Norman Stubenhofer.

But mostly, they were the folks who had watched him grow up on Arley Drive in Springfield, said Robert Argenteri, a former neighbor.

“It was the whole neighborhood. That's why it was so long,” Argenteri said, referring to the motorcade that took a half-hour to wind around the roads of the cemetery. “He was a longtime Washington Post carrier. He served this neighborhood for a better part of a decade.”

Stubenhofer, 30, was a company commander with the 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Division at Fort Riley in Kansas. He had returned to Iraq for his second tour in June and had received a Bronze Star for helping liberate five Iraqi cities in spring 2003, during his first tour there.

At the graveside service yesterday, friends and relatives hugged each other and reflected on Stubenhofer the paperboy, the second baseman for his high school baseball team and the vice president of student government. He grew up to be a heroic soldier, a father of three small children and a husband to Patty, his college sweetheart from Clemson University in South Carolina.

“The two most important things to Mark were his family and his country,” said Norm Stubenhofer, his father. “He died doing what he wanted to do.”

Patty Stubenhofer and her children led yesterday's procession, following the coffin. During the service, Lauren, 5, listened intently as a military official presented her father's Bronze Star, Purple Heart and two flags to the family. Two-year-old Justin, too young to understand the events, was playful.

When the ceremony ended, each child placed a red rose on Stubenhofer's coffin. Patty Stubenhofer also placed a rose on the casket, using one hand for the flower and the other to hold a baby carrier in which 4-month-old Hope Riley was swathed in blankets.

Stubenhofer never got to see his baby girl, named for the hope he wanted to give Iraq and for his Kansas Army post.

Norman Stubenhofer said he was happy that his granddaughter, through her name, would forever be a reminder of his son's desire. “It's a touching story,” he said.

“She'll only know him through us,” his mother, Margaret Stubenhofer, said in an earlier interview.

Stubenhofer began making the military a career at Clemson, where he entered the ROTC program and received a military scholarship. He was commissioned in 1996 after graduation.

After the funeral yesterday, mourners gathered at the Stubenhofers' four-bedroom home on Arley Drive.

“There must be 150 people here,” Argenteri said. “People are all over the place. . . . He's just really well-liked and well-loved.”

Norman Stubenhofer said the family was surprised by the outpouring, which was also evident at a wake Thursday night. He said people waited outside to enter the funeral home.

“We knew there were going to be a lot of people there, but we were overwhelmed,” he said. “Mark was always someone who just seemed to attract a lot of people. . . . Mark was just a very special person.”

Donations for a Fallen Soldier

Family of an American soldier killed in Iraq starts a foundation to send school supplies and toys to Iraqi children.
By Glenn McCarty
March 24, 2005

Mark Stubenhofer, second from left, a West Springfield grad, was killed in action in Iraq in December 2004. He left behind his wife Patty, a son Justin, daughter Lauren and another daughter Hope, born in July.

For Patty Stubenhofer, the concept of hope is something she sees when she looks into her daughter's eyes. Each time she holds 8-month-old Hope Riley, Stubenhofer is also reminded of the ultimate sacrifice her husband Mark, a U.S. Army captain, gave in pursuit of hope while fighting in the war in Iraq last year.

“We named her Hope because of the hope for the children of Iraq and everywhere. He believed in what they were doing over there, and he wanted to bring them hope,” said Patty Stubenhofer.

On December 7, 2004, Captain Mark Stubenhofer was killed in action in Iraq as his infantry unit was attacked by insurgents outside its vehicles in Baghdad. The 30 year old was on his second tour of duty in Iraq, and had earned a Bronze Star during a tour in 2003. He left behind his wife Patty, and their three children, Lauren, Justin and Hope, who was born after he began his second tour.

The months following Stubenhofer's death have been challenging for his family. Mother and father Sallie and Norm Stubenhofer, who live in Springfield, are still coming to terms with the fact that their son, a member of the varsity baseball team, Key Club and student government while at West Springfield High, has given his life for his country. They say Mark, however, was the consummate soldier.

“The two greatest loves in his life were his family and his country. I think every one of us here, his brothers and sisters, his Dad and I, everybody recognized that in him right away,” said Sallie Stubenhofer.

Mark Stubenhofer was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, and shortly after his death, the Stubenhofer family began thinking about ways to carry on Mark's work in Iraq.

“Back in December, there was this reoccurring theme, with children and hope,” said Erin Murray, Mark Stubenhofer's sister. “At his memorial service in Kansas, one of his comrades spoke and said that Mark had said when an Iraqi child comes running as fast as he can so he can watch the tanks go by and wave, that makes it all worth it.”
Murray and Patty Stubenhofer hit upon the idea of establishing a foundation — Mark's Hope — that would provide a way for them to support the military efforts in Iraq.
“They wanted to go forward with one of his dreams and maybe down the road somehow further the cause of freedom and peace through the children,” said Sallie Stubenhofer. “He said, as far as he was concerned, the hope for these people to have a free life was in the children.”

THE FOUNDATION is accepting donations of school supplies, toys and cash, with the goal of sending all collected items to Mark Stubenhofer's old division, the 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry, in Iraq, to be distributed to children in Iraq. Locally, donations are being accepted at West Springfield High School, Messiah United Methodist Church in Springfield and through several local Boy and Girl Scout troops. In addition, similar efforts to collect supplies have started at Fort Riley, Kan., and in Germany; Hawaii; Erie, Pa.; Rochester, N.Y.; and Flemington, N.J., where Murray lives.

The goal, said Sallie Stubenhofer, is to celebrate Mark's birthday, April 18, by sending all the donations overseas. High on the list, she said, were soccer balls, since Iraqi children have enthusiastically embraced the sport following the success of the national team at the Athens Olympics.

The success of this year's efforts will determine whether or not the foundation will become an annual endeavor.

Working with Mark's Hope isn't always a sunny task. For Murray and her two brothers and one sister, the foundation is often a reminder of sibling's death.
“We were able to celebrate him coming home the first time, but we've also had to see him make the ultimate sacrifice for freedom. We're extremely proud of what we've accomplished, but every step we make is a constant reminder of what we've lost,” said Murray. “But it didn't take Mark dying for us to realize he was a hero. We told him that while he was alive. That's, I think, what's carrying us through right now.”

To donate items to Mark's Hope in the Springfield area, drop boxes are located in the West Springfield High main office, earmarked for teacher Beth Roop, or in the bin outside the fellowship hall at Messiah United Methodist Church in Springfield.
Suggested items include backpacks, lunch boxes, pencils/pens, erasers, notebooks, paper, spiral notebooks, folders, and especially deflated soccer balls and new or gently used Beanie Babies.


  • VETERAN SERVICE DATES: 04/19/1994 – 12/07/2004
  • DATE OF BIRTH: 04/18/1974
  • DATE OF DEATH: 12/07/2004
  • DATE OF INTERMENT: 12/17/2004


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