Army Major Mark D. Taylor, MD, was born November 17, 1962 in Stockton CA. On March 20, 2004, just days prior to his scheduled redeployment to Fort Bragg, NC, he was killed, at 41, when his living area came under rocket attack in Fallujah, Iraq. When leaving for Iraq, he left his 6 year old son, Conner, with a set of dog tags saying, "Wear them until Daddy comes home." Those who knew him well remembered Taylor as a wonderful man serving his country.
"He was very intelligent, had a great sense of humor, and was a compassionate person," said Cathy Conrad, a longtime family friend. "There were lots of people who just loved him, and he was a very driven individual." His work entailed setting up hospital tents and treating soldiers and civilians. "He told us recently that this Iraqi woman, six months pregnant, had been shot and he operated on her," his mother said. "He operated on little kids. He was very proud of what he was doing." In addition to being an excellent surgeon and father, Taylor loved skiing and finding ways to make people laugh.
Taylor was stationed with the 82nd Airborne Division in Fort Bragg, N.C. He joined the Army National Guard before graduating from the University of California - Davis with a degree in biochemistry in 1982. In 1991, Taylor received a pharmaceutical degree from University of California - San Francisco and earned a medical degree four years later from George Washington Medical School in Washington, D.C.
While in Iraq during his second tour, Mark received word he had been awarded a fellowship in advanced laparoscopic surgery. For his service he received the combat medical badge, air assault, airborne, and German parachute wings, as well as decorations that include the Bronze Star, Army Commendation, and Army Achievement Medals, to name a few.
The Taylor family has chosen to support Quilts of Honor through Dog Tag Legacy Fund. Their mission is to bestow a universal symbol and token of thanks, solace, and remembrance to those who serve in harm's way to protect and defend our lives and freedoms.