Fort Rucker honors fallen veteran, instructor
January 6, 2011
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Soldiers and Family members paid tribute to an instructor, father and friend at the Fort Rucker Main Post Chapel Dec. 20.
Jeremy Clark, C Troop, 1st Battalion, 14th Aviation Regiment OH-58D instructor pilot, died in a crash on Molinelli Range Dec. 14 while training a student pilot. He previously served on active duty and achieved the rank of major before joining federal service.
Friends, Family and coworkers remembered Clark as a model Soldier, loving father and loyal friend.
"I could see during our talks that Jeremy had the desire to do more than just teach new Aviators to fly," said Lt. Col. Scott Halverson, 1st Bn., 14th Avn. Regt. commander. "He became my 'go-to' guy. He was more than just a great instructor pilot, more than just a proud son and brother, he was an incredible father. Despite being an avid golfer, after his children were born his golf clubs began collecting dust because he wanted to spend as much time with them as possible."
The loss was also felt by Capt. Anne McClain, C Troop, 1st Bn., said losing Clark wasn't just losing one of their best instructors, it was losing one of their best friends.
"He was the C Troop commander a few years before me and having that kind of experience at my disposal was almost like cheating, but I wasn't about to complain," she said. "He was always committed, always caring and always going above and beyond for his students."
Clark's cousin, U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. James Dye, reflected on the support shown to the Family by the installation.
"(Jeremy) wasn't a civilian, he was Army; and once Army, always Army," Dye said. "Jeremy's brother, Jason, told me he couldn't believe the love and support being shown to them by Fort Rucker. It's absolutely amazing."
The ceremony concluded with several installation commanders, including Brig. Gen. Anthony G. Crutchfield, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker commanding general, leaving their coins at the base of a memorial helmet, gun and boots in Clark's honor.
A memorial fund for Clark's two daughters' education has been established by C Troop, 1st Bn., 14th Avn. Regt. and is taking donations.
To contribute to the fund via PayPal, go to www.paypal.com, click the "Send Money" link on the menu bar toward the top or bottom of the page, under "All Personal Products& Services" click "Send Money Online," enter the amount, click on the "Friends and Family" radio button and click the "Continue" button, enter firstname.lastname@example.org under the "to" line and your own e-mail address under the "from" line, click the "continue" button. Enter your PayPal password and follow the on-screen instructions.
To contribute by check, address an envelope containing the check to CB&T, P.O. Box 311245, Enterprise, AL 36330. Make check payable to CB&T, FBO the Clark Family Memorial Fund. Checks can also be dropped off at any CB&T branch.