Bishop Ireton has designated Friday, February 8th as Mark Little Appreciation Day to recognize 1st Lt. Mark Little, US Army, and BI graduate 2000, for his military service to our country. During half-time at the 7:30 pm Boys Varsity Basketball game vs DeMatha High School, Vice Principal for Academics Mr. Tim Hamer will present a hockey jersey to Lt. Little. Mark was one of the first goal tenders (with Maluska Slabinski) on our original 1998-99 season hockey team.
Mark graduated from Bishop Ireton in 2000, went to Norwich in New England, and transferred to George Mason University, where he graduated in 2006 with a degree in Administration of Justice degree. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Army National Guard through the Army ROTC program and called to active duty. Trained as a combat engineer, Lt. Little deployed to Iraq in June 2007 with the 3rd Infantry Division. He was wounded twice, the last time on September 7, 2007, when 600 meters from the base camp a roadside bomb exploded, severely wounding Lt. Little. As a result of his wounds, he lost both his legs below the knees. He was evacuated to the United States and arrived at Walter Reed Army Medical Center on Sept 11, 2007. He has been rehabilitating from his injuries since that time. He returns to Ireton for the first time since his injuries for this event.
On November 9, a promotion ceremony was scheduled for Mark to receive the silver bars of a first lieutenant. His girlfriend, Rebecca Kelley, said “He was determined to stand up” as he did not want to receive his promotion sitting down. At the Iwo Jima Marine Memorial on November 9, 2007, he stood proudly in front of the memorial on his new prosthesis for the first time to receive the promotion. “It [Iwo Jima] shows overcoming adversity and this is what I am doing,” Lt. Little said. “This is my first day with the left leg outside of the hospital.”
“Walter Reed is a wonderful, wonderful place,” the new first lieutenant said. “I’ve experienced nothing but great care there.”
Mark has received two Purple Heart Awards, a Bronze Star, and Army Commendation Medal.
“This is a guy who gives so much to his country,” Brig. Gen. Johnson said after the ceremony. “The attitude he has is inspiring to see. That’s the epitome of a Soldier. We’ve had Soldiers such as Gen. [Frederick M.] Franks [Jr.] who’ve lost limbs and gone on to great careers. It’s what’s in your heart and what’s in your head that matters.”