MN decorated war veteran celebrates bittersweet Father's Day

8:26 AM, Jun 15, 2012   |    comments
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ROSEMOUNT, Minn. -- It's important to introduce the character in this story fairly. Lt. Colonel Mark Weber thinks everything is hilarious.

"See laughing always gets you past the tears," Weber said from his Rosemount home Thursday.

Getting past the pain in the Weber family has become the mission since July of 2010 when Mark was told he has stage four terminal liver cancer.

"I mean they are like the words you never want to hear," Mark said of when he was told his diagnosis.

The vicious disease that has riddled Mark's internal organs lives inside of him but it does not get to dictate the rest of his days, no matter how few. What dictates his future is his resolve, his integrity.

"I don't think it's about not being scared; I think it's about what you do about the fear," Weber said.

Mark lives every day like it's his last, with his three young sons and his wife of 18 years, Kristin.

But it isn't just Mark that has cancer; his family is battling his disease, too.

"What would it be like without him here, am I going to be able to....am I going to be able to raise my kids; I want their childhood to be happy," Kristin said through tears.

No one wants that more than Mark.

His family is his true north right beside his calling as a soldier.

Its cruel then for a guy with war tours under his belt, 23 years in the service to have his final tour of combat be stateside, in his own skin.

"Army life for all this time, its cancer. Some sort of cruel irony," Weber said.

But it is that tour of duty that on Thursday night came full circle.

For 15 minutes Lt. Colonel Mark Weber stood larger than life, larger than cancer, passing on his wisdom to a captivated audience at the Army's 237th birthday celebration at the Minnesota History Center.

But it was what he was afforded next, by his eldest son that made the night unforgettable.

"I've asked my son to sing a duet with me in honor of the army birthday," Weber told the crowd.

And with that introduction Mark and his son, Matthew sang, for the first and perhaps last time.

Mark continues to take an oral chemotherapy treatment but was told two weeks ago that the chemo he had been taking to tackle the cancer was not working.

(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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