meet Mark Russell McDowell

Discussion in 'Military' started by strollingbones, Jul 22, 2009.

  1. strollingbones

    strollingbones Diamond Member

    Aug 18, 2008
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    When Mark Russell McDowell set his mind on something, family members say, there was no stopping him.

    As an MVP on South Iredell High School's soccer team, he played his entire senior year in a cast up to his elbow after breaking his left hand. He set his sights early on getting accepted to the U.S. Air Force Academy, telling his mother, Barbara Thomas, he wanted the quality education.

    “His father said to me, ‘Don't believe that,'” Thomas said Tuesday. “‘He's going to fly.' I believe all along he wanted to be a fighter pilot. Once he got out there, being in that environment, it solidified that.”

    Capt. McDowell, 26, was one of two airmen who died Friday in an F-15E crash in Afghanistan, according to the Department of Defense. McDowell and Capt. Thomas Gramith, 27, of Eagan, Minn., were assigned to the 336th Fighter Squadron at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro.


    Family recalls Air Force pilot's determination -

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