Army Specialist Stephan L. Mace grew up in Purcellville with his parents and three brothers, Matthew, Bradley and Christopher. A handsome young man with big blue eyes and a smile that warmed those around him, Stephan’s energy was so strong, that if he sat still long enough, you could see it radiate from his body. From his earliest childhood friends to those who he served with, it seems that everyone in his life has a story about his mischievous side and how it brightened their lives. Stephan was at peace with the things in his life and was always ready, willing and able to help where it was needed. He had found a life-‐base, one to which we all aspire.
Stephan wanted to serve the country he loved, so he joined the Army as a Calvary Scout and was an exemplary soldier. In May 2009, Stephan and his brothers-‐in-‐ arms were deployed to Combat Outpost (COP) Keating in the Nuristan province of Afghanistan. This small outpost was located at the bottom of three steep mountains and manned by 53 soldiers. On October 3, 2009, an estimated 400 Taliban, who held the high ground, attacked COP Keating. Stephan had just gotten off guard duty when the battle began. Instead of staying where it was a little safer, he ran back to one of the most vulnerable areas to help man a 50 cal gun, so others could fall back into safer positions.
Stephan sacrificed his life for his Army brothers and was posthumously awarded several medals including a Purple Heart, Bronze Star, and the Army Commendation Medal with Valor.