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First Name: Mitchell

Last Name: Lane

Birthplace: Lompoc, CA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Arthur

Date of Birth: 16 June 1969

Date of Death: 29 August 2003

Rank: Sergeant First Class

Years Served:
Mitchell Arthur Lane

•  Afghanistan War (Operation Enduring Freedom) (2001 - present)


Mitchell Arthur Lane
Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army
Operation Enduring Freedom - Afghanistan

Mitchell Arthur Lane was born on 16 June 1969 in Lompoc, CA.

Mitch's passion and interest in serving in the military started early. At the age of 8, he started a scrapbook that included an Army recruitment advertisement, a U.S. Navy brochure and his application to begin hunter safety training at the age of 13. At 16, he added motorcycles to his list of passions. Mitch was in great shape. He could swim 50 meters under water in a single breath and finish up with, 'What's next, dude?'

Sergeant First Class Lane was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group, Fort Bragg, NC; his specialty was demolition. He loved big explosions. One time when they destroyed a massive cache of Taliban ammunition in Afghanistan, they prepared the detonation, and then took cover about a mile away. The ground trembled and debris fell around them. Mitch laughed so hard he fell off the bumper of the truck.

Mitch also loved microbrewery beer and good music. But his greatest love, and achievement, was his family - his wife, Gina, and his two children.

On 28 August 2003, a nighttime combat assault infiltration into a known enemy cave complex in Afghanistan was scheduled. Mitch wasn't scheduled to participate in the mission. In fact, he was expected to return home by 1 October 2003; even sooner if a military plane was available. However, his dedication to the men he was training prompted him to accompany the team. "I want to go out and help them," he reportedly told his commander the evening of the assault.

While quick-rappelling down a rope from a hovering helicopter, Mitchell fell approximately 25 feet, falling onto a rock and hitting his neck below the edge of his helmet. His former team members say that he may have lost contact with the rope because of gusty winds and turbulence. Mitch never regained consciousness and died on 29 August 2003.

Mitch Lane was posthumously awarded a Purple Heart, adding to a long list of medals earned during his 12-year military career.

Death and Burial

Sergeant First Class Mitchell Arthur Lane died on 29 August 2003 of injuries sustained during a combat operation. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, in Section 60, Site 7889.

Honoree ID: 2158   Created by: MHOH




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