Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

Remembering the servicemembers who died in the service of their country.

Army Staff Sgt. Mark A. Lawton

41, of Hayden, Colorado.
Lawton was in a convoy that was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade north of As Suaydat, Iraq. Lawton was assigned to the 244th Engineer Battalion, U.S. Army Reserve, Grand Junction, Colorado. Died on August 29, 2003.

Staff Sgt. Lawton leaves behind a wife, Sherri, and two sons, ages 4 and 1. Lawton graduated from Moffat County High School in Craig, Colorado in 1982.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Staff Sgt. Mark A. Lawton.


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"Two days ago you were taken from us 17 years ago. I miss you terribly! Not a day goes by that I don't think of you, and what all you are missing out on. What we as your family are missing out on. I want to see my nephews. I haven't seen them since your funeral. I keep hoping that someday we will be reunited and I can tell them all about growing up with you as an older brother. lol! The years that go by are only different. They will never get easier. Love you always and forever. Your loving sister,"
Kristi Lawton Olds of Grand Junction

"I was stationed at MCAS Cherry Point with Mark and Ron Gagnon who commented below. Ron called me one day, I had already gotten out of the Marine Corps. He told me Mark was dead. I didn't even have to ask Mark who. I spent the next few days applying for a contractor position in Iraq. A year later, after various locations, I was at FOB Normandy. I felt his presence the whole time I was there."
Gary Short, SGT, USMC of Anchorage, AK

My dear friend, words cannot express how much I miss you Brother. One day in the future, when the days are no longer counted for me as they are you, we will sit down catch up and have a beer. You are one of the most honorable people I have ever known. Trust me I will never let your memory die. Much love."
SFC Jake Harris (Ret) of Salt Lake City Utah

"It's just a few days away from being 13 years since you have passed, there still isn't a day that goes by that I still don't think about you. I miss you more than words can say. I can tell you that mark was my high school sweetheart and we were engaged the day we graduated. I guess I was to young to realize just what I had at the time. I still visit places we used to go together, just to stop and remember. I miss you very much and a piece of my heart will always be with you."
Victoria warren of Craigc co

I was assigned to your unit at Fort Carson getting you ready for deployment. I was the one who brought you home from Dover AFB. I would see your picture when I was posted at the Pentagon. Rest In peace fellow soldier on this Memorial Day 2014"
COL (Ret) Perry Sosa of Tooele, Utah

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"August 29th is a day that I will never forget. This year it has been 10 years that you have been gone. 10 years of memories that we should have shared together as a family. We miss you terribly!!!! Love you always and forever,

Your Sister......"
Kristi Olds (Lawton) of Grand Junction, CO

"I will never forget the great person and soldier you were. You will always be missed."
SPC Earley of Washington, D.C.

"Gone but never forgotten. We reported to Fort Carson together and drove there together in 2003. In the short time we worked together I learned what it meant to be a great NCO and man. You will always be missed."
Sgt Andre Baxter, C-Co (now 994th En Co) 244th Eng Bn of Castle Rock, Colorado

"Many years later, I am no longer a servicemembers. But I remember mark still.
I don't know if you knew it or not- but on fob Normandy when I was there... After his death, his memorial was created on the fob. In the 2/8th infantry battallion area there was a horseshoe pit for all the soldiers to use. The backstop was a highly detailed, highly decorated intricate carving and woodburning piece in his honor. His name, epitath and other information boldly presented.

I can see it in my mind still.
Just thought you might wish to know."
joel e welsh of wauseon ohio

"Hi, my name is Shawntel A Stewart. Not very many people that knew Mark Lawton, knew that he actually has 4 children, not just 2. From youngest to oldest Mark's children are..... Tanner 7 and Dustin 10, mother is Sherri Lawton. and the other two children are Spencer 18, mother is Becky (not sure on last name), And myself, Shawntel 22, mother Tamara Stewart. I just felt that anyone who knew my father also deserved to recognize that he had more family out there that loves and misses him... I love you Daddy and know that someday we'll finally be together when i meet u in heaven. REST IN PEACE MARK ANTHONY LAWTON. Love and miss u, Shawntel."
Shawntel Zimmer of Richfield, Utah

"SSG Lawton was a soldiers' soldier. I didn't understand at the time why he was such a hardass, but his dedication and example saved lives after he was gone. I hope your family can take solace in the fact that your service saved lives. It's taken me a while to come to this realization, but I now know it in my heart. Rest in peace my brother."
James Wyatt of Denver, CO

"On this day, 5/29/2011 I am reminded so fondly of the men and women with whom I served in the 244th Eng Bat, Combat Heavy years ago. I am saddened by this loss - a soldier from my family, whom I never had a chance to know. My heart goes out to his family, the unit, his friends, and comrades."
Monica of Chicago, IL

"I only knew and worked with Mark a short time during our high school years, but what I remember most was the fact that he was always smiling. And that it was infectious.
It was Mark that inspired me to join the service after my own graduation, and I'm glad that I did.
God bless you, Mark, and your family for their service, dedication, and sacrifice.
Semper Fi"
Dave Alden of Kingsland, GA

"I never want to forget the sacrifices of so many young men and women. I am so proud it makes me cry. I understand in theory only that war is a part of human nature but so is love and caring. I wish I could take the families pain away but I can't. I am committed to loving ALL people, myself and our environment. I am committed to working on my happiness everyday because so many have died for my freedom to live my life. Thank you is not enough but it is all I have. All my love and respect. ogersteiner@yahoo.com
A hundred times a day, I remind myself that my inner and outer life depends on the labors of other men, living and dead, and I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am receiving. - Albert Einstein"
Scott E. Steiner of Worthington, OH USA

"Mark I know if you read this now you would give me a titty twister to die for. You continue to this day to be an inspiration to me in all I do. You are still the leader that I hope to be. Thanks for the memories and thanks for putting your wall locker right outside my supply room door, or I would never been able to know you like I did."
SFC Jake Harris of Marion, Virginia

""To the family of Mark A. Lawton ,I am so sorry for the loss of your love one.He died a hero.May you know the peace and understanding that only comes from God. Hopefully we will all meet in Heaven one day where we will rest in the arms of Jesus. If you need someone to pray with you or talk to please call or write my pastor at Gateway Community Church,Rev John B Pearrell 11677 Brown Bridge Rd. Covington Ga. 30016 phone 770-787-1015""

"You have been deeply missed...I owe you so much and never even got the chance to say THANK YOU..."
SPC Crystal Woolen of Grand Junction, CO

I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for our Country-not just in OIF, but also for your service in Desert Storm as well. And to your family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

Semper Fi Devil Dog!"

"It has been 5 years now and still not a day goes by that we don't think of you, but somehow we keep moving on. Maybe because we know your watching over us. So until the day we see each other again, you will remain in our hearts.

Your Loving Sister,

A special thanks to all of you that have shared your thoughts and kind words. My family thanks you for them."
Kristi Olds (Lawton) of Grand Junction, CO/Mesa

"July 3, 2008
To the family of Staff Sgt. Mark A. Lawton:
Mark gave the ultimate sacrifice and will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. I cannot and will not let our fallen heroes be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to you. "Some gave all."
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"I am a Vietnam veteran and every fallen soldier is a true hero. I can see by the tributes left in Marks honor that he was extremely loved as a husband, father, family member, and friend to many and as I can see a true inspiration to so many. I know that this is true and to think of the many lives he has touched and how many he could have touched. I live in Anza, California and there are many flags on the side of the highway in tribute to all of the fallen. I think that God told me to stop and get Marks information. I am truly happy that I did. I wish I could have known this superior person and true hero."
Myron Capps of Anza, CA, USA

"I went to school with his foster sister, Christina Lawton. I had Nina Lawton, a foster aunt of Mark Anthony Evans-Lawton."
Vasili of Colorado

"Mark you are not only my brother, you are my hero. It has taken my awhile to get up the courage to write this but I feel it must be said. To anyone who knew Mark, knew that he was apart of my family, and those who don't should know that he left behind a brother (Scooter Lawton) that wanted to grow up to be just like his older brother. Sisters (Kristi & Angela Lawton) who loved you as though you were their brother by blood. Mother & Father (Pat & Lindean Lawton) loved seeing you grow up into the man that you became. A Family who's hearts broke when we lost you, but was broken even more when the chance to show others what our family meant to you was not allowed. There is not a day that goes by that your family does not think of you. Our family chain is broken but as god calls us one by one it will soon be linked again.

To Marks sons Dustin & Tanner we miss you both so much, we can't wait till the day, you can "by your choice" come and see us, to hear childhood stories that only your Aunts and Uncle can tell you about your father "Our Hero""
Kristi Olds (Lawton) of Grand Junction, CO/Mesa

"My heart go out to you for your sacrifice. My God Bless You and keep you in comfort."

""Gone But not forgotten"..The Name lives on"
Mark Antony Lawton of England/OLDHAM

""Gone But not forgotten"..The Name lives on"
Mark Antony Lawtom of England/OLDHAM

"Mark Anthony Evans-Lawton is a hero and a legend. God bless him and his entire family and friends."
Vasili of Craig, Colorado

"It was an honor to name the American Legion Post after Mark Anthony Evans-Lawton. He is a hero, and God bless him."
Vasili of Craig, Colorado

"When i was assigned to the 244th en. bn. the first person i ever met was Mark who picked me up at the airport and immediately made me feel welcome. Once at fort carson he helped me get through processing since the rest of the battallion was in the field. Altho I was assigned to C co. I had many occasions to talk with him and get to know more about him while at camp Speicher. A great family man, soldier, and friend to many, does not even begin to describe Mark, he always had time for others, or made time. There was so much more to him than one can describe. I'll remember Mark forever. My sincerest condolences to his family, and I hope you are doing well. God bless."
Sgt. Jack Blaedorn of Aberdeen, SD

"My name is Steve Alicea. Mark (Evans) Lawton was one of my best friends in High School. He was an incredible man, friend, father and husband. I have so much to say about Mark and wish I could say it all. But I will leave all of you with a few thoughts... Mark entered the Army right out of High School for four years, that was not enough of a challenge for him so he joined the Marines for 10 years, then the reserves. Some of you may know this, some may not, but I do know, I have not heard of many people that have done that. He also had the option to stay behind on his second tour of Iraq, but he opted to lead his troops. One other thing I have to say is that Mark was a heck of an athelete. For 20 years, Mark held track records at our high school that was finally retired after he passed. Again I have so much I would like to write here, but this is very emotional for me. I am in contact with his widow and she is doing as well as can be expected. It is because of men like Mark that this country is free. It is because of men like Mark that me, along with all of you are able to speak your mind, write these words and be proud. Thank you all for your kind words about Mark. He truly was a patriot... May God Bless you my fleet footed friend... We will run the halls together someday again. Your forever Cowboy buddy...

Steve Alicea"
Steve Alicea of Arvada, Colorado, United States

"Condolences to the family of Mark Lawton."
Mark Lawton of Melbourne, Australia

"This is to Staff Sergeant Mark A. Lawton' widow. I read your post on http://troo-ip.clearchannel.com/cgi-bin/spiritual/guestbook.cgi?view and i wanted to find a way to contact you. I hope you get a chance to read this. I just wanted to tell you how wonderful I think you are. Though I've never met you in person, you sound amazing. So many people would lose faith or turn against our President if they had something awful happen to them, like it did you. Your husband must have been amazing too, to do something so brave and heroic for our remakable country. Many thanks from my family and me and may God bless you."
Meghan of SIlver Spring, MD

"To the family of SSG Mark A. Lawton; My thoughts and prayers are with you! I did not know Mark, but today I purchased a bracelet with his name on it. I will wear it everyday to honor his memory. God Bless You!"
1LT NaTasha M. Wayne of Colorado Springs, CO

"In Loving Memory..Its been a year..8/29/04

At the rising of the sun and at its going down, We remember them.
At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of Winter, We remember them.
At the opening of buds and in the rebirth of Spring, We remember them.
At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of Summer, We remember them.
At the rustling of leaves and the beauty of Autumn, We remember them.
At the beginning of the year and when it ends, We remember them.
As long as we live, they too will live;
for they are now a part of us, as we remember them.
Rest in Peace Dear Soldier!!! We will NEVER FORGET!"
The Grogan Family of Lakeland, TN

"I too was at FOB Normandy. I met SGG Lawton while there, and chatted briefly.
He touched my life quickly, and then was gone. He was not only a good soldier, he was a great man.
Brother, you will be missed."
SGT Joel E. Welsh of 204th FSB 4th ID (mech) Ft Hood TX

"To the family of SSG Mark Lawton,
My name is SGT Stephanie Gay. I am from Chicago, IL and I am part of B Co 863rd EN BN, 88th RSC. I was one of the last people attached to the 244th EN BN. When I arrived at FT. Carson there was only a small portion of the battalion left because everyone else was in the field on an "FTX". SSG Lawton was our acting 1SG and he helped myself and others with the transitional period and the original shock of being activated. He was one of the first people I came into contact with in Carson and the attention he gave to the soldiers was unsurpassed. SSG Lawton really made this out of town SPC feel at home.
I was at home on emergency leave attending my grandfather's funeral when SSG Lawton passed and I still feel bad for missing his memorial service in Iraq today. I lost contact with him in Iraq because I was placed into C CO. A CO and C Co rarely had missions together because we worked so hard alone. I still remember and value how SSG Lawton treated me in FT. Carson. He will truly be missed, but his memory will live on in all of us forever."
SGT Stephanie Gay of Chicago, IL

"Sergeant Lawton, goodbye soldier and thank you. You are my hero."
Bill of Houston, Texas

Please KNOW so many people share your sadness, and we are remembering your family in your loss and your deep grief. Your HERO, Mark will be remembered by name. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless you. Pat & Sandi Breckenridge from Montana "

"To Staff Sgt. Lawton's Family:
Though we are strangers, we want you to know how sorry we are your Mark was taken from you. There is no doubt his thoughts were of you as he served in Iraq. We will never forget. You are in our hearts."
Carol & Larry Miller of Tampa, Florida

"Thank you Mark Lawton, you will not be forgotten. Your bravery goes beyond words. I want to express my deepest gratitude for your sacrifice. To the family and friends, my prayers and deep condolences in your loss. May God strengthen you from knowing that fellow Americans and people around the world care about you and grieve with you in your loss. God bless you all. A very appreciative fellow American,"
Leo Titus of Grayslake, Illinios



"I had the priveledge and honor to serve with SSgt Lawton when he was in the Marine Corps at Cherry Point, NC. I also roomed with him for a year in New Bern, NC. I am deeply saddened at his loss and for his family. I was just a Lcpl when I met him but I will never forget Mark Lawton. I am sure he left lasting impressions on many young Marines and Soldiers. He was an outstanding Marine, and a great person. God Bless him and his family.""
GySgt Ronald L. Gagnon Jr of New Bern, NC/USA

"My name is SPC Claire Fron. I was stationed in the Army Reserves with the 244th for 4 years, and I had the great opportunity to work with SSG Lawton on several Annual Training weeks. He was a wonderful Sergeant and was always optomistic about everything our Unit accomplished. I give much love and sympathy to his family, he will never be forgotten."
Claire Fron of Boulder, CO

"Our Cowboy Soldier"
Vicki Owen of Fort Wayne, IN

"To the family and friends of Staff Sgt. Mark Lawton:
May God's grace be with you during your time of grief. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and we feel your loss and share in your sorrow. Bless Mark for the sacrifice he has made to make a better life for the rest of us."
The Ford Family of Wells, Nevada

"To the family and friends of Staff Sgt. Mark Lawton:
I am saddened by the loss of your loved one. He will always be remembered as a hero for fighting for freedom. I hope that this website will be a source of comfort and encouragement for you during this difficult time, and in the future as you recall the memories of Mark, who continues to live on in your heart."
Tim Rivera of Powder Springs, Georgia

Honor them by remembering... Freedom - is their gift to us But his soul goes marching on