Nothing could have prepared her for April 8, a Saturday, when she returned from a soccer practice and heard a knock at their home at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.
Mrs. De Alencar was upstairs. Her daughter Tatiyana, 13, shouted that two uniformed men were at the door, “like in the movies, when they knock on the door when something bad has happened.”
Mrs. De Alencar knew why the soldiers had come. “I couldn’t get down the steps. My body just froze,” she recalled.
When she was told that Mark was dead, she said haltingly, “it was the worst feeling in the world.”