Profiles In Courage: Mark Messina

By Craig McNair

Have you ever been in class and wondered what the life of the student sitting next to you is like?  I had the privilege of finding out the answer to this very question in Dr. Wood’s CAS 100 class.  Throughout the semester we had to deliver both an informative and persuasive speech.  From this I found out that a fellow student had served his country in the Iraq War.

Mark Messina is a modest Penn State New Kensington student who enlisted in the United States Army at the tender age of 17.  Messina served as a Combat Engineer, which is a soldier who performs a variety of construction and demolition tasks under combat conditions.

During his service of 6 years, Messina was stationed all over the country and around the world including global locations such as Germany, Iraq, Korea and Kuwait.  Messina received numerous awards including a Combat Action Badge, Army Good Conduct Medal, Enduring Freedom Medal, Iraqi Freedom Medal, Presidential Unit Citation Medal, 3 Army Achievement Medals, and a Purple Heart, which is awarded in the name of the President to those who have been wounded or killed while serving.

On behalf of the Penn State community and all of my fellow Americans living in freedom throughout the country, we thank you for all of your heroic actions.  If you know Mark then you would also know that he would simply say, “it’s not a big deal.”


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