Mary Ellen Cortellini< Back to full list
12904 Rios Road
Poway, CA, 92064
Mary Ellen Cortellini
My husband and I were residents of the former post of Fort Rosecrans, now Naval Submarine Base Point Loma. We lived in the beautiful, one-hundred-year old Army–built quarters overlooking the Pacific Ocean and entrance to San Diego Bay. Over the years, I have done extensive historical research about the homes and the early build-up of the coastal defense installation. By piecing together all of the materials and photos, I have brought the first occupants of “Officers’ Row” back-to-life and uncovered a bygone era of Army glory in San Diego at the turn of the twentieth century.
And yet, there was also a contemporary twist – The amazing discovery of the modern-day Fort Rosecrans Soldiers, tucked away in the old post bakery building a century later, and hidden in the midst of an active Navy base.
They were the brave, young members of the Army’s 710th Ordnance Company (Explosive Ordnance Disposal). We became friends during the course of my work and they touched my heart and soul forever.
In the course of my research, I learned that Constructing Quartermaster Colonel Rolfe, Post Commander Captain Scott, and Post Surgeon Major Kneedler, stationed at Fort Rosecrans between 1902-1905, have all been forgotten over time. One hundred years have passed, and I feared that the three young Soldiers from the 710th who were killed in Afghanistan in 2002 would suffer the same fate in history.
Maybe it was destiny that our paths would cross and produce the unlikely alliance and unique friendship between a Navy Captain’s wife and Army EOD Soldiers during the war on terror. It has been an incredible journey. What started out as a personal curiosity about my magnificent military quarters, lead me on a historical adventure all the way to the caves of Tora Bora and back.
I now believe that I was put in that house for a very special reason; to tell the story of Fort Rosecrans Soldiers, past and present.
My series of books is collectively called The Forgotten Soldiers of Fort Rosecrans. They are stories about the power of love and friendship, and the triumph of the human spirit, during a time of war.