Life of a Warrior
Staff Sergeant Mark Lalli joined the Army Reserve in 2002 at the age of 17. As a high school sophomore at the time, he needed his parent signature to join. He wanted to serve his country following the terror attacks of September 11. After graduating from high school, Lalli transferred to active duty and would act as a UH-60 Black Hawk crew chief.
In December 2005, Lalli deployed to Iraq for a one-year tour. After returning home for a few months, he would again deploy, but this time to Romania on a training tour. Two weeks after this tour ended his crew was participating in a joint training exercise in Italy. During this exercise, his aircraft had a malfunction, and he was unable to recover. During the crash, Lalli’s crew lost six of the 11 service members onboard. He would suffer numerous injuries that would lead to his medical retirement from service in 2010.
Continuing to Serve Others
Since his time in the military, Lalli has found a passion for helping others. He started working on an equine farm that assists other veterans through rides, mental health exercises, and retreats. Lalli discovered his love for equine therapy while going through the same therapies that he now assists with.
Spending more time on the equine farm and his own land is important for Lalli, which is why he applied for an all-terrain chair from The Independence Fund in February of 2016.
"My wife and I live on an acre of land,” said Lalli. "I am looking forward to getting out and spending time on the land with my dog, and down the line with children.”
Lalli and his wife Margo currently live in Lutz, FL and are country music fans. They have never seen Florida Georgia Line in concert, although they purchased tickets in 2015.
"My wife and I love FGL,” said Lalli. "We bought tickets for a show back in summer of 2015, but we got married, and were on our honeymoon when the concert took place, so we missed the show. We are very excited to see them for the first time.”
The Independence Fund and Florida Georgia Line
are proud to partner together to empower heroes like SSgt Lalli. His life story is one of hope, courage, and community, and we are proud to be a part of it.