Letter to The Editor

This is why we have the Internet

This should have made the headlines but didn’t. Staff Sergent Mark DeAlencar was killed on April 8th. He was an army special forces soldier stationed here in the Fort Walton area. In January he deployed again to Afghanistan. He promised his daughter Octavia that he would be home for her high school graduation. He didn’t make it. But she went to graduation anyway. And in the audience were eighty (80) US Army Special Forces Soldiers from her dads unit in full dress uniform.

Additionally, they they brought their families with them as well. And as Octavia ascended the steps to the stage to receive the diploma, THEY ALL SILENTLY STOOD UP. And when she was presented the diploma they ALL CHEERED AND CLAPPED, WHISTLED AND….yes cried. Everyone in attendance then stood, cried  and cheered also. Octavia had graduated and yes, lost her Dad….but she did have 80 other dads to stand there with her and helped take his place…

I just wanted to share this moment with you …and remind you that THIS IS WHAT IT IS LIKE TO LIVE IN A MILITARY TOWN. THIS is the Real America we all love….And I’m proud to be part of it. God Bless our men in uniform and their families who give so much. And, and, GOD BLESS AMERICA, land of the free and home of the brave.


(please take a second or two to pass this along to someone you know. It is the least we can do for Octavia and SSgt. Mark DeAlencar. 7th Special Forces, United States Army)

Elijah Murphy