Warm Southern Breeze

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UPDATED: Army Nurse Dies in Afghanistan while Off Duty

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, May 6, 2012

UPDATE: Monday, 07 May 2012

Army officials have not yet released the 43-year-old Nurse/Soldier’s cause of death, but confirmed Monday that he was not shot.

Spokeswoman Chris Grey said, “Although the investigation into his death is open and ongoing by Special Agents from the US Army Criminal Investigation Command, we can positively say that Captain Clark was not shot. Agents conducting the investigation, found no trauma to the body beyond minor abrasions and a possible broken nose most likely caused from Captain Clark striking his face on his desk when he collapsed. Investigators will continue to probe the death but they do not “suspect foul play.”

Beaumont Army Medical Center Public Affars Officer Clarence Davis said the cause of death has not been determined, and that “The autopsy and investigation will reveal the cause of death.”

According to CPT Clark’s brother Justin Hallenbeck, he even spent time as a volunteer firefighter.

CPT Clark was a part of A Company, Troop Command at Beaumont, and deployed to Afghanistan in March.

He was stationed in Tarin Kowt, Afghanistan, which was described by Army officials as a town of about 10,000 people.

His awards include the Army Commendation Award, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Army Service Medal.

It’s still a dangerous place in Afghanistan, as this story testifies.

Oh yes… men make great nurses, and in the Armed Services all RNs are officers.

May his family be comforted during their time of grief.

Army officer dies during Skype chat with wife

May 6, 2012 8:23 PM
Captain Bruce Kevin Clark, RN - United States Army, Nurse Corps

US Army CPT Bruce Kevin Clark, RN was thought to have been killed by a bullet in Afghanistan while off-duty during a Skype video conference session with his wife, who is stateside.

(AP) HOUSTON – The wife of an Army officer serving in Afghanistan witnessed her husband’s death as the two video chatted via Skype, his family said Friday.

The circumstances of Capt. Bruce Kevin Clark’s death were not immediately available. The Pentagon said it was under investigation, and his brother-in-law said he didn’t have details.

“We are entrusting the military with investigating and with finding out what happened to Capt. Clark,” Bradley Taber-Thomas told The Associated Press.

Clark, a 43-year-old Army chief nurse, grew up in Michigan and lived previously in Spencerport, N.Y., a suburb of Rochester and his wife’s hometown. He joined the Army in 2006 and was stationed in Hawaii before he was assigned to the William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso. He deployed to Afghanistan in March.

A statement from the family released by Taber-Thomas said Clark died Monday while talking to his wife during one of their regular Skype sessions.

“At the time of the incident, the family was hoping for a rescue and miracle, but later learned that it was not to be,” the statement said. “Although the circumstances were unimaginable, Bruce’s wife and extended family will be forever thankful that he and his wife were together in his last moments.”

Clark’s body was returned Thursday to Dover Air Force Base.

A funeral is planned in Spencerport, but details were not immediately available. Clark and his wife, Susan Orellana-Clark, moved there in 2000. While living there, he worked for about four years at Highland Hospital in Rochester, N.Y., first as an operating room assistant then operating room technician.

“He was a friendly guy, always joking, always picking on me because of my (British) accent,” said Ellie Villanueva, a nurse who worked with Clark at the hospital and kept in touch with him after he left. They spoke a few days before his death, and he talked about coming for a visit. “After work, we would all go out. It was like a family. He was my son.”

Clark was an EMT before he worked at the hospital. He went on to earn his nursing degree and planned to become a certified registered nurse anesthetist, Villanueva said.

“He was always willing and always wanting to better himself,” she said.

Military records show Clark finished his nursing degree before joining the military in 2006.

He received a number of awards and decorations for his service.

“When you were in Bruce’s presence it was apparent he served a higher purpose,” the family’s statement said. “He was deeply honored to serve his country, and he paid the ultimate sacrifice to serve people, his children, family, community, and church.”

A memorial service also was planned in Addison, Mich., where Clark graduated from high school.

Villanueva said the delay in releasing the cause of Clark’s death was difficult on those who knew him.

“Why is it taking so long? It’s odd,” she said. “It’s a real shame.”

Clark is survived by his wife and two daughters, age 3 and 9, he said.

http://www.cbsnews.com/2102-201_162-57428792.html

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6 Responses to “UPDATED: Army Nurse Dies in Afghanistan while Off Duty”

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