This article, Mark Soto: Honor Bowl Founder Writes Of Family, Service & Football, was first published on SportStarsMag.com.
In His Book “Honor Coach,” Mark Soto Shares How Passion and Patriotism Helped Birth The National High School Football Showcase •
Mark Soto has never been short on enthusiasm and passion for what he loves and believes in. And his first-ever foray into the world of book writing shows how his greatest passions came together to produce The Honor Bowl — now considered one of the best high school football showcases in America.
But, much like the inspiration for the creation of the Honor Group nonprofit and Honor Bowl, the journey to finishing the book was long and challenging.
“I wrote journals throughout my sons’ deployments and kept articles knowing that someday I wanted to write a book,” Mark Soto said. “It would have been done earlier, but my son (Joshua Soto) was helping with the book and details. It took him back in a terrible way.
“That sidelined me for a year on the project. I didn’t want to do that to him and other Marines.”
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Joshua Soto was a member of the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines (3/5 Marines). Its deployment in the Sangin District of Helmand Province, Afghanistan, is America’s single deadliest of the Afghanistan conflict to date. Supporting Operation Enduring Freedom between September 2010 and April 2011, twenty five battalion members died in combat. More than 200 suffered wounds, many losing limbs.