Burden Bearer Support Initiative
The Green Beret Foundation is relentlessly dedicated to assuring that our Green Berets and their families are provided with the highest level of mental health care available. In this vein, we are proud to announce that we have established the MSG Andrew Marckesano Suicide Prevention Fund, in honor of MSG Andrew Marckesano, who lost his life to suicide in July, 2020. This fund is being established not only to honor the life and legacy of MSG Marckesano, but to earmark funds specifically for meeting the mental health care needs of Green Berets and their families which are not covered by military healthcare or other benefits.
The matter of military and veteran suicide is a deeply nuanced, sensitive, and constantly evolving issue, and at the Green Beret Foundation, our objective is to ensure that every Green Beret and Green Beret family member suffering from mental health challenges has access to all necessary avenues of treatment and care. We approach this matter from a holistic perspective, considering “mental health care” and “suicide prevention” to include treatments and therapies which may address other underlying concerns, such as substance abuse, post-traumatic stress (PTS), traumatic brain injury (TBI), chronic pain, and additional issues which may contribute to suicidal ideation. Our goal is to leave no Green Beret or Green Beret family member behind, affording them the necessary care to enjoy meaningful and fulfilling lives free from the shadow of suicide.
The fund was created in honor of MSG Andrew Marckesano. In addition to serving as a Green Beret, he served in the 82nd Airborne Division and the 75th Ranger Regiment for a total of six overseas deployments. He was awarded the Silver Star, our Nation’s third-highest honor, for “his gallant actions and dedicated devotion to duty, without regard for his own life,” in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.
“Andy spent his life in service to others – for God and Country,” recalls his wife, Erin. “He loved his family, his three beautiful children, and his men, and he fought like hell for all. This fund is a way to honor Andy and keep fighting his fight for those he loved. If you were blessed to know Andy, you know he was a burden bearer that always carried more than his share, at work and at home. The work of the Green Beret Foundation through this fund will lighten the load of other Green Berets and their families, an incredible testament to Andy’s legacy.”
It is the Green Beret Foundation’s goal, by establishing the MSG Andrew Marckesano Suicide Prevention Fund, to honor his life and legacy by providing the steadfast and unwavering care and support that MSG Marckesano envisioned for our community. #AndysFund
Master Sgt. Andrew C. Marckesano
Master Sergeant Andrew Christian Marckesano was born in Phoenix, Arizona on October 22, 1986. He graduated from San Luis Obispo High School in 2004 and joined the Army in 2005 as an Infantryman. MSG Marckesano was assigned to Fort Bragg, North Carolina where he served in C Co 2/508 PIR 82nd Airborne Division from Rifleman to Squad Leader. While at Fort Bragg, he deployed to Afghanistan in 2007 and 2009. In 2011, MSG Marckesano was assigned to Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia. In 2013, MSG Marckesano deployed again to Afghanistan. In 2013, MSG Marckesano attended the Special Forces Assessment and Selection at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and was selected to attend the Special Forces Qualification Course. He graduated in 2015 as a Special Forces Weapons Sergeant and was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne). MSG Marckesano deployed again to Afghanistan as the Senior Weapons Sergeant on ODA 7223 in 2016 and then to Colombia in 2017.
MSG Marckesano’s schools include Basic Airborne Course, Modern Army Combatives level 1 and 2, Ranger Indoctrination Program, Small Unit Ranger Tactics Course, Warrior Leaders Course, Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course, Advanced Leaders Course, Ranger Course, SERE (High Risk), Free Fall Parachutist Course and the Special Forces Weapons Sergeant Qualification Course.
MSG Marckesano’s Awards include Silver Star, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Valorous Unit award, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghan Campaign Medal CS-5, Global War on Terrorism, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary, NCO Professional Development ribbons, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Ribbon, NATO Medal, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Ranger Tab, Special Forces Tab, Parachute Badge, Military Freefall Parachutists Badge.
MSG Marckesano is survived by his wife Erin and children Riley, Andrew, and Madeline.