Veterans Day: The Story of Sgt. Mark Steppe

Mark Steppe is an Iraqi War Veteran who joined the Army after graduating early from high school. He retired as an Infantry Sergeant after serving his country for 12 months. Steppe describes his fellow soldiers as brothers, and although he struggles with some issues from the war, he constantly states, “I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat.”

During his first year, Steppe was designated to Fort Hood Texas before being sent to South Korea and spending a whole year there. While in South Korea, Steppe actually re-enlisted for another four years in the Army. Before being deployed to Iraq, Steppe spent time in California where him and his troops would certify fellow soldiers who were about to enter the war in Iraq. Eventually, Steppe received his call from the Army to enter the war and in January 2005 he left for combat. Records show his service lasted a little more than a year at which point he returned to the main land, and spent another four months in the Army, before ultimately deciding to step away.

Sadly, Sgt. Steppe’s peaceful retirement wouldn’t last very long as he would begin to encounter mysterious health problems. Problems which eventually led to him becoming a disabled veteran. For this reason, Steppe fought against the very same service he once represented in order to receive the treatment he deserved. After months of fighting, the government would finally start helping Steppe with his then extended needs. However, although he’s grateful that his needs are finally being met, Steppe wishes the government would do a better job of taking care of their veterans when they return home.

At the young but certainly matured age of 31, Mark Steppe is now married to Amy McCambridge who is a fellow Marine herself. The two are parents to two joyous boys, Torin, 15 and Jack, 6 back home at Ridgewood, NJ. He admits his every day life is sometimes difficult because of the haunting memories from the war. This however, doesn’t stop him from always having a big smile on his face and being grateful for having what he refers to as a really good life.

Montclair State | New Jersey

Fabricio Costa

Aspiring sports writer with a insurmountable passion for soccer and music.