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Mark McNabb

In Memory of ETR Mark Richard McNabb USN

July 20th, 1984 – January 19th, 2020

Mark was born in Puyallup, Washington, where he grew up and graduated from Sumner High School in 2003. He joined the Navy 2006 and married his wife Tanya 2007 in Groton, CT. He lived in Connecticut, Washington, Hawaii, Kentucky and Virginia.

His military service was very important to him and he was determined to be the best at whatever job he was given.

List of Trainings and Certifications:

Recruit Training 8 wks

Basic Enlisted Submarine 7 wks

Electronic Core Apprentice Technical Training 4 wks

Tactical Computers and Network Operator 4 wks

Submarine Communications Electronics Rating Field 9 wks

Class Electronic Sensors Measure Operator 9 wks

Communications Operations 8 wks

Common Submarine Radio Room Basic maintenance 8 wks

SEAL Delivery Vehicle (SDV) Electronic Maintenance 7 wks

Navy Remedial Swimming 1 wk

Electronic Key Management System 3 wks

Pistol “Expert” M9

Rifle “Expert” M16/M4

ET- SSN Radio Frequency (RT) Equipment Operator 8 yrs and 10 months

ET- Trident I/II Radio Frequency (RT) Equipment Operator 8yrs and 9 months

ET- Common Submarine Radio Room CSRR Maintenance Tech 6 yrs 10 months

ET- SEAL Delivery Vehicle (SDV) Team Technician 5 yrs

His military Decorations, Metals, Badges, Citation and Campaign ribbons, Awards:

National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Letter of Commendation- Flag, Navy and Marine Corp Achievement Medal (5), Navy Good Conduct Medal (3), Navy “E” Ribbon, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (2), Meritorious Unit Commendation, Enlisted Submarine Warfare Specialist Breast Insignia, Expeditionary Warfare Specialist Breast Insignia.

Mark’s Navy and Marine Corp Commendation Medal was one of the medals he was most proud of. 

Mark is survived by his wife of 12 years, Tanya; daughter, Gabrielle 9; son, Theodore 6; parents, Jay and Karen; his sister Jaycee; and his nephews Jordan and Gavin.

Shared by his father, Jay: 

“Mark is the youngest of two children. He was always a good kid – quiet for the most part and excelled in school. He was involved in Cub Scouts, played T-ball and Little League baseball. Our family trained in Kung Fu; he received his brown belt and participated in several competitions. 

I lettered in golf in high school and took Mark to the golf course and taught him to play when he was old enough. In 9th grade, he played well enough to be on the high school varsity team, by 10th grade, he was competing at state level, by the time he was a senior, he was shooting in the low 60’s on tough courses. He could have gone pro, but had back problems that hindered his ability and desire to play.

In high school he took auto mechanics, receiving a scholarship to a Honda certified school in 2003 after graduating. He worked at a local dealership before enlisting in the Navy in 2006.  He excelled at all he tried. 

Mark went to Basic Training in Great Lakes, got married, then was off to submarine school in Groton, CT, then Radioman school followed by many others. He was assigned to his first command onboard the USS Nebraska which homeported in Bangor, WA, close to his hometown. On his first deployment, within the first month, a sailor was killed in an accident – a tragic start for all. Mark had to help with the scene and I know it affected him deeply. 

In 2012 he was assigned to Naval Special Warfare Group Logistics Support in Hawaii:  Unit SDVT-1. He worked on the Electronics on the SEAL Delivery Vehicles and was closely involved in what they did, which he did not talk about. He deployed to Bahrain and traveled to other unknown locations. He received numerous impressive evaluations from Chiefs, XO and CO’s of all the commands he was with. To give some context to his service, NSWGSU-3 SDVT-1 (Naval Special Warfare Group Support Unit SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team 1), was the same group the heroes from “Lone Survivor” also served with.

Mark’s next station was on board the USS Ohio until he separated from the Navy in 2017. 

His reintegration into civilian life was rough; he was finally home trying to become the father and husband he couldn’t be when deployed, coupled with all the issues he ran into while in the Navy – it was not easy – he had a lot of ‘demons’. His studies in college to become a Physician’s Assistant also added to his pressure.

I wish we could back up years. I talked to him on facetime a few days before he did this, and I can still picture that call. The ‘I wish’, the ‘should have, could have’, guilt, blame, anger, deep sadness, things I, as his dad, can’t fix this time.  I visit him at the local National Veterans Cemetery every Sunday with flowers, I put flowers at our house at the flag pole and in our rec room where I put up a “Fallen Heroes Table.” I keep a candle lit on the mantel and pray for him daily. I miss him and love him so very much. This has hit everyone he knew so very, very hard. 

Mark was buried with full military honors at Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, Washington. His wife, Tanya, and two children also spread some of his ashes in the water in Hawaii.” Mark’s father, Jay, is a Vietnam veteran who served in the US Navy.

McNabb Mark USN