"Fortunate Soldier:
Mark talks about his wartime experiences in Kuwait"

by Malissa Thompson  |  Soaps In Depth Magazine
August 12, 1997

Long before Mark Valley set up housekeeping in Tinseltown, the actor was on the front lines in Kuwait. A graduate of West Point, he spent five years in the Army and fought in Operation Desert Storm.  Although he has been out of the combat zone for several years now, he often thinks about his experiences in battle and the comrades he lost to the horrors of war.

"I had two friends who died over there," he remarks. "My squad leader, Steve Hansen, died when he stepped on a land mine, and my classmate, Donnie Tiller, lost his life, too."

Valley says that hardly a day goes by when he doesn't think about his buddies who sacrificed their lives in Desert Storm. "When Donnie and Steve died, my whole attitude changed," he explains. "I used to get upset about little things; now I know how precious every day is, and I take life in stride."

Although Valley values the lessons that the military taught him, he's quite content to remain a civilian. "To be honest," he says, "I think I make a better actor than I did a soldier."


Contributed by Salem.