Retired Army officer, author Mark Weber, dies

Mark Weber
Lt. Col. Mark Weber gives the keynote speech at the annual Memorial Day ceremony at Fort Snelling National Cemetery on Monday, May 27, 2013.
MPR Photo/Curtis Gilbert

The retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army from Rosemount, who wrote a book for his three sons as he was battling cancer, has died.

Mark Weber was 41 years old.

He was a rising star in the Army just three years ago, tapped by the top commander in Afghanistan to join the effort to turn around the war there in 2010, after Gen. Stanley McCrystal was relieved of command.

"Gen. Patreus, the day McCrystal got fired, asked me to be part of his team. And I mean, that's what a soldier lives for. To be brought into the big game, to be brought to the majors and say, hey, do you want to be on the team? You know, heck yes," he told MPR in a recent interview. "And then two weeks later, not only do you have cancer, but it is bad."

He also told MPR that while he had survived longer than any doctor predicted, the disease had given him days of extreme ups and downs.

"When I get a reprieve, like I can feel that I'm just ahead of the illness now. It's one thing when you're behind. You feel like you're just clawing at a rope or a ladder. You know, I can't reach it. And that's what it feels like every day. You can feel that sense of control. And I felt that yesterday," he said.

Weber wrote a book about his experience, titled "Tell My Sons." He said he wanted to set a good example, and hoped he'd inspire others to take action, not just hope. His family said on his Caring Bridge website that he passed away Thursday afternoon.

Before you go...

MPR News is dedicated to bringing you clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives when we need it most. We rely on your help to do this. Your donation has the power to keep MPR News strong and accessible to all during this crisis and beyond.