Friday, October 7, 2011

Michael K. Clark, Army, Sergeant -- Rest In Peace

Michael K. Clark, 24

Army, Sergeant
Based: Ft. Carson, Colo.
2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division
Supporting: Operation Iraqi Freedom
Died: October 7, 2008
Mosul, Iraq
Married, 1 child
Gender: Male
Hometown: Sacramento
High School: Amador High (Sutter Creek)
Burial: Sacramento Memorial Lawn
Not long after the birth of his son Lucas, now 4, Clark joined the Army to provide for his family.

As a soldier, Clark proved fearless, honest, generous and unafraid to speak his mind.

"He was always so motivated," said Sgt. 1st Class Edward Maldonado, who served with Clark. "You could tell it rubbed off onto other soldiers. . . . He would sort of become their role model, because no matter what the situation was, he would always make it seem like it wasn't as bad as most soldiers would see it to be."

Maldonado remembers Clark as a fun-loving warrior who shared a passion for Ford Mustangs, but stood out most for his devotion to family: "He would talk about how much he loved his wife, Nalini." And "any time you saw Sgt. Clark while off duty he had his son stuck right next to him, wherever he went," Maldonado said.

On his final deployment, he kept in touch with regular e-mails, once reassuring his family by saying it had been months since he had fired his gun.

After Clark died at 24, his father, who left when he was the same age, played a final role. Bradley Clark, a pilot who works for a Defense Department contractor that brings home deceased soldiers, requested to be part of the crew that would transport his son's body.

When he brought his son back to Sacramento, news reports quoted him as saying: "I'm sad but proud and thank him for the service he's done for our country." Contacted by The Times at his Michigan home, he declined to be interviewed.

Mike Clark's wife said her husband wanted most to be a hero to their only child.

"Mike wanted to teach him how to be a boy, and do boy stuff with him," she said. "He wanted to be there for Lucas."

Read the entire LA Times article about Army Sergeant Michael Kyle Clark here and visit his guest book here.

Army Sergeant Michael K. Clark previously remembered by Boom3 on Thursday, October 7, 2010.

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