Master Sgt. Andrew Christian Marckesano, a decorated Green Beret, Silver Star recipient, and 12-tour veteran whose friends called him the real "Captain America" died by suicide on July 6. He had a wife and three small children.
Marckesano served six tours in Afghanistan with the 82nd Airborne and six tours with the Ranger regiment. Marckesano recently moved to Washington, D.C., to work at the Pentagon. He is the 30th member of his battalion to commit suicide.
Fox News reports many close to Marckesano said he never recovered from his tour in Afghanistan's Arghandab Valley in 2009. The 2-508, Marckesano's battalion in that tour, had one of the highest casualty rates of any unit during the war.
Bert Puckett, the battalion's former Command Sgt. Major, said, "That deployment was like being in the ring with Mike Tyson for a year."
Puckett sent a message to the rest of the battalion this week:
"Text me, I told you before my door is open ... my phone is at hand. We did things that people make movies about and in some cases, writers and producers wouldn't even try to write our story ... the rucksack is heavy ... and when it gets heavy we [expletive] help each other, but you have to reach out ... Don't let the Valley win."