The road through college got a little easier recently for Ricardo Mack of Arundel High School, who received the first Herzberg-Wild Memorial Scholarship given in honor of two fallen county military heroes.

The $10,000 scholarship, administered through the Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County on behalf of anonymous donors, is given in honor of Marine Corps Lance Corporal Eric W. Herzberg and Marine Corps Lance Corporal Taylor Wild IV. It is awarded to a high senior with a solid academic record who exhibits two qualities celebrated by the U.S. Marines: character and quiet leadership.

Ricardo Mack Group 1 SMALLIt is renewable for up to two consecutive years pending the recipient’s successful academic progress.

Herzberg joined the Marines right after graduating from Severna Park High School in 2005, and dedicated his life to protecting and defending our country. He was killed in action in Al Anbar, Iraq, on October 21, 2006.

Wild joined the Marines in 2010, shortly after graduating from Severna Park High School. He was deployed to both Afghanistan and Kuwait.  He died in a mortar explosion during a training exercise at Hawthorne Army Depot in Nevada on March 18, 2013.

Mack, who received his high school diploma on May 27, has overcome many personal challenges and has been a key figure in Arundel High School’s Community Development and Global Citizenship signature program. Through this leadership and service-based program, Mack learned how to use his voice and experience to create positive change in his school and local community.

His senior year he began mentoring at Nantucket Elementary School with a club called The Gentlemen’s Group and, through that experience, began to personally mentor a second-grade student.

Modest and soft-spoken, Mack has been able to take positive academic and extra-curricular risks in the name of a good cause and is motivated to use college to learn more about the world and himself so that he can be a positive change agent. This fall, he will attend Towson University to study molecular biology, biochemistry, and bioinformatics.  He has also received the A Tribute to Women of Color Scholarship, the Senatorial Scholarship, and the YWCA Annapolis Scholarship.

About Lance Corporal Eric W. Herzberg

Eric was born on June 7, 1986, at Madigan Army Hospital at Ft. Lewis in Washington State. Eric was very creative.  As a young boy he would build elaborate designs with Legos and action figures. He liked reading books. His favorites were the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings series.

Eric had a great sense of humor and loved to have fun with his friends. Eric enjoyed playing soccer, rugby and pick-up games of football. Eric loved being part of a team and did not like attention to be focused on him. Eric was extremely proud of his Irish Catholic heritage. His faith in God was very important to him. He deeply loved his family and friends and was especially close to his brother and sister.

In high school, Eric felt called to become a Marine and joined the Marine Corps right after graduation. Eric dedicated his life to protecting and defending our country. Eric was killed in action in Al Anbar, Iraq on October 21, 2006. Eric would tell all of you to listen to your hearts and follow what you feel God calling you to do.

About Lance Corporal Taylor Wild IV

Taylor can best be described by his tattoos.  They represent what was so important to him that he wanted to show the world, forever.

His first tattoo was to show respect to the Marine Corps that helped him build knowledge in many areas, be part of an intense brotherhood, travel and develop a confidence that came with a big smile.  That tattoo was a symbol of the 1st Battalion, 9th Marines. His second tattoo offered a glimpse into what was important to him as a kid.  He read the Harry Potter book series, over and over.  That tattoo was a quote from Albus Dumbledore, “Death is but the next great adventure.”  When he got his next tattoo, his younger sister asked what it meant.  He said “A swallow is a bird that can always find its way home, and this means I will always find my way back to you.”  The tattoo was a swallow flying over the ocean. His last tattoo represented his passion and his home.  He played baseball from age 5 through high school.  His favorite team was the Orioles.  This Oriole bird tattoo was the start of a planned larger tattoo that was to include the Bay Bridge, the Maryland flag, and the Raven.

Taylor adored his younger sister and always made time for her whether it was just jumping on the trampoline or a trip to the Baltimore Aquarium.  He shared his passion with his younger brother and they could always be found together throwing a baseball or football in the backyard.  His mother was one of his favorite teammates whether it was volleyball, bocce or pickle ball.  His father was his role model and he shared his wish to join him in the police department in the future.  He loved his family and told them all the time.

Taylor deployed to both Afghanistan and Kuwait.  Taylor died in a mortar explosion during a training exercise at Hawthorne Army Depot on March 18, 2013.