News: Sgt. Mark Schoonhoven, A hero remembered
Story by Sgt. V. Michelle Woods
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan--Task Force Durable honored a fallen Soldier in a memorial ceremony at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, Jan. 25, 2013.
Sgt. Mark H. Schoonhoven, 32nd Transportation Company, 157th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, TF Durable died Jan. 20, 2013 from injuries sustained from an improvised explosive device explosion in December 2012 while serving in Afghanistan.
Schoonhoven served with the 32nd TC, a unit organic to Fort Carson, Colo., as a truck commander in logistics trucks and assistant commander in the gun truck.
A native of Plainwell, Mich., he was described as an honorable, patriotic and knowledgeable noncommissioned officer by his company commander and two other Soldiers from his unit during the ceremony.
"He was always the first one to jump into a vehicle and get on the road whenever the mission called for it, a testament to his leadership abilities," said Capt. Eric Baca, 32nd TC company commander. "He was a man of honor whose name will echo throughout the remainder of our lives."
"He always gave a helping hand with his wisdom and knowledge and every experience was a lesson, " said Pfc. Bryan Burton, 32nd TC.
Burton said Schoonhoven was a very proud paratrooper who formerly served under the 82nd Airborne Division and he constantly bragged about his paratrooper days. Burton added that Schoonhoven went by the nicknames Sgt. Schoon, Schoon Daddy and Tin Cup.
Sgt. Javelle Crowder, 32nd TC, said Schoonhoven had a few obsessions in his life; the first was his family. He loved his wife and children and next came his friends and Soldiers. Mark was the type of NCO who would go far out of his way to help anyone he could, she said.
Crowder added, "For instance, there were several times he had volunteered to drive his Ford all the way to Denver airport to pick up a Soldier who did not make prior travel arrangements to get back to Fort Carson."
"Sgt. Schoonhoven would not want anyone in this room to be upset about his passing," said Burton. "He would want everyone to smile and remember the good times, remember that tomorrow isn't promised, and live every day like it's your last. He definitely would not want you to forget 82nd Airborne runs the world. Love your brothers and sisters and never forget 82nd Airborne all-American paratroopers! Love you Sgt. Schoon, Ghostriders forever, good 'ol Tin Cup!"
Schoonhoven is survived by his wife, Tammie Loffer and his daughters Anjelika and Ava Schonhoven, his two step-daughters Sheehta Perry and Sylvia Loffer, his step-son Forrest Loffer, who reside in Colorado and his parents Harry and Debbie Schoonhoven of Michigan.