Fort Wayne National Guard member dies in Texas

Indiana National Guard staff sergeant Mark Boner is an Elmhurst graduate and Komets fan currently serving in Iraq. Boner follows the team over the internet and often gets up at 3 a.m. to listen to games.
Indiana National Guard staff sergeant Mark Boner is an Elmhurst graduate and Komets fan currently serving in Iraq. Boner follows the team over the internet and often gets up at 3 a.m. to listen to games.
Mark Boner

Fort Wayne National Guard member Mark Boner passed away Saturday morning. A sergeant first class, Boner, 43, was training as an automated logistical specialist at Fort Hood, Tex., to deploy to Kuwait when he passed. The Guard didn’t release information about the circumstances of his death, saying it was under investigation.

A battalion supply sergeant, Boner graduated from Elmhurst High School in 1993 and is the father of two daughters, Gabi and Cassandra. He joined the U.S. Army after graduating before joining the Indiana National Guard’s 38th Sustainment Brigade based in Kokomo. He served tours in Iraq and Kuwait in 2005, Iraq in 2009 and Kuwait in 2013.

“For those who knew and worked with Sgt. 1st Class Boner, he was respected and admired for his great love for his country and family,” Col. Kimberly Martindale, commander of the 38th Sustainment Brigade, said in a press release. “He was an inspiration to us all, always doing something for someone else and never taking credit for it. My deepest sympathy for his family at this sad and difficult time.”

Boner was also a regular supporter of the annual Komets Kare Package program from its inception in 2007.

“Regardless of where it came from, it was a way people were saying thanks for what you are doing,” Boner said. “It’s uplifting and helps you when you are going through the tough times and helps you feel better. It gives you an emotional boost.”

While serving in the Middle East, Boner sometimes got up at 3 a.m. to listen to Bob Chase broadcast games over the radio.

He received a Combat Action Badge, Iraq Campaign Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, and two Army Commendation Medals.

“Mark was a true friend who would do anything for anybody,” said retired Master Sergeant Steve Kingsley. “He was a dedicated NCO, and he was a great soldier. He will be dearly missed, and never forgotten. He’s like the brother I never had. It’s been a hard couple of days.”

The Komets plan to honor Boner’s memory at a future game.

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