An Army Captain who was killed Tuesday in Afghanistan is being remembered as the kind of person anyone would be lucky to know. The Army said 43-year-old Bruce Kevin Clark was killed Tuesday while serving in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
A chief nurse, Clark was stationed in El Paso, Texas. The Michigan native spent six years of his life in Spencerport going to college and raising a family.
For those who knew Clark well, his death is hard to accept.
"He really did everything he could do to give back to people,” said Mariana Barry.
Whether you called him Bruce or Kevin, those who were close to Cpt. Clark consider themselves lucky.
"Suzie actually called him both,” said Mariana, Clark’s sister-in-law. "He's All-American. That's all I can say."
Clark grew up on a farm in Michigan. It's there he met his future wife, Susan.
"She brought him back to Spencerport and we loved him immediately."
Mariana, who is Susan's younger sister, says her brother-in-law always put his family first.
"He barbecued for all of us. We had a lot of family dinners, a lot of laughs, and a lot of good times."
Shortly after moving to Spencerport in 2000, Clark and his wife had a daughter. As he worked as a volunteer firefighter, Clark enrolled at The College at Brockport, where he decided to pursue a career in nursing. When he was approached about joining the military, he decided to pursue both passions.
"He really wanted to do it. He wanted to serve his country."
After graduating in 2006, Clark moved his family to Hawaii, where he was stationed. There, he had another daughter. His next assignment was in El Paso, Texas. He rose to the rank of Captain and Chief Nurse. Clark was recently deployed to Afghanistan.
"There is nothing more than Kevin loved than helping people."
Mariana would like to beleive that's what he was doing when he was killed.
"There really still is a big question mark."
But right now she's not sure exactly what happened.
"Tuesday, military called my sister and told her that Kevin had not made it, and that there would be an investigation and that was the only thing they would tell her."
No matter how he died, Mariana knows it was in service of his country; putting others before himself. That's the way, she says, he deserves to be remembered.
"He didn't want anyone to suffer, and that's what made him an amazing nurse. It's what made him an amazing father, brother, husband, and son."
Mariana's mother and youngest sister are with Susan Clark in El Paso, Texas right now. As difficult as this is, Mariana says her sister, like all military families, knew this was a possibility. She says Susan is being strong for her kids.
Funeral arrangements will be handled by the Walker Funeral Home in Spencerport. A service will be held at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Rochester. Because of the ongoing investigation into Clark's death, a time and date cannot be finalized.
Statement from The College at Brockport
"The entire College at Brockport family was deeply saddened to learn of Capt. Bruce Kevin Clark's passing. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones during this difficult time. We're honored to call Capt. Clark an alumnus of The College at Brockport and hope to honor his memory by continuing to provide tremendous support services to our students who serve our country."