By Patrick McCallister
For Veteran Voice
PALM CITY — Mark Updike got in a tiff with the law a couple years back. It was one of the best turns in his life, because the Marine Corps veteran got a chance to lift himself up from a string of disappointments. And he’s taking a bunch of rescued horses up with him. “I believe the horse has the ultimate birthright,” Updike said. “It was the most instrumental animal in the development of our country, and the world. They have a birthright, because they literally, on their backs, carried us and built this country.” Back to that legal tiff.
After more than 40 years, a valiant soldier finally has received his due.
You’d never know, to be around him, that he earned the nation’s highest honor, much less how. He’s low-key, humble, still fit and trim at 72. Gray-haired and bespectacled, up till now he’s lived a quiet life with his wife of 53 years, Mary, in their well-appointed home in Cocoa. Nowadays, he’s attending tributes almost non-stop, including an Honor Dinner given for him by the Melbourne Regional Chamber of Commerce April 19.