Silver Star recipient Master Sgt. Andrew Christian Marckesano died by suicide in front of his wife after returning home to Alexandria, Virginia, U.S., from a dinner with a former battalion leader on Monday night.
The Green Beret had served six full tours in Afghanistan with the 82nd Airborne and the Ranger regiment and was the 30th member of the 2nd Battalion- 508th Parachute Infantry regiment to die by suicide.
Marckesano had recently started a coveted job at the Pentagon and had moved to Washington, D.C.
The 2-508 battalion served in Afghanistan’s Arghandab Valley in 2009 and had one of the highest casualty rates of the unit during the war.
Friends and family told Fox News, he never recovered from the tour in the region which at the time was heavily patrolled by the Taliban.
“Text me, I told you before my door is open… my phone is at hand,” he texted his battalion, urging them to reach out to him if they needed help.
“We did things that people make movies about and in some cases, writers and producers wouldn’t even try to write our story… the rucksack is heavy… and when it gets heavy we [&$#*] help each other, but you have to reach out… Don’t let the Valley win.”
He leaves three children and a wife behind him.
Young combat veteran die by suicide at four time the rate of other veterans, Fox News reports. In the U.S., 20 combat veterans take their lives every day.