Support our mission
To raise funds for medical research and disease awareness, the American Diabetes Association has created a teddy bear in honor of Sgt. 1st Class Mark Thompson, a 1st Infantry Division career counselor with diabetes.

To raise funds for medical research and disease awareness, the American Diabetes Association has created a teddy bear in honor of Sgt. 1st Class Mark Thompson, a 1st Infantry Division career counselor with diabetes. ()

Plush and cuddly, “Staff Sergeant Thompson” is going to help raise money for diabetes.

The American Diabetes Association will unveil its newest stuffed teddy bear this week at its annual conference in San Diego. Dressed in desert cammies and sporting an insulin pump, “Staff Sergeant Thompson Bear” is modeled on Sgt. 1st Class Mark Thompson (he was promoted last week — the soldier, not the bear), the 1st Infantry Division career counselor who is diabetic.

The group’s chief executive officer, Lynn Nicholas, pitched the soldier bear idea and invited Thompson to speak at the conference after reading a Stars and Stripes profile of him last fall. She said ADA had sold holiday-themed bears before, but never one modeled on a real person.

“I so often see soldiers in their desert fatigues,” Nicholas said. “I thought it would be nice to have a little bear who served in the Army.”

Thompson has been working with the bear’s designers to make sure the uniform looks right. He also will work in a booth selling the bears, which are $10 apiece. His wife, Beth, and little boy, Kyle, 2, will help him.

“I’m so looking forward to giving one to my son,” Thompson said.

For more information on the soldier and “Staff Sergeant Thompson” — or to purchase the teddy bear — see the American Diabetes Association’s Web site at: www.diabetes.org/backfromiraq.jsp.


Stripes in 7



around the web


Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up