Sunday, February 26, 2006

Army Spc. Clay P. Farr

Remember Our Heroes

Army Spc. Clay P. Farr, 21, of Bakersfield, Calif.

Spc Farr was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 71st Cavalry, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.; killed Feb. 26, 2006 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Humvee during patrol operations in Baghdad. Also killed was Spc. Joshua U. Humble.

On the day he enlisted in the Army, Clay Farr volunteered to be a cavalry scout.

But his father urged him to "get a job in the back," where his chances for survival would be greater.

"He told me, 'I'm going to be in the action, Dad. I'm getting on the front line,' " Patrick Farr said.

Even as a youngster, Clay Farr seemed destined for the military life, his father said. In school, he liked to color everything in camouflage patterns.

"Clay was all Army from the time he was small," his father said, recalling a photograph of his then-4-year-old son wearing a camouflage ball cap at an air show. "That's when the Army got him."

The 21-year-old Bakersfield native enlisted after graduating from Centennial High School in 2003 and asked to go to Iraq.

On Feb. 26, Farr was one of two soldiers killed when a roadside bomb exploded near their Humvee while they were on patrol in Baghdad. Also killed was Army Spc. Joshua U. Humble, 21, of Appleton, Maine. Both were assigned to the 1st Squadron, 71st Cavalry, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division at Ft. Drum, N.Y.

Joining the Army was part of Farr's bigger plan: After the war, he was going to marry his high-school sweetheart and become a Kern County sheriff's deputy, his parents said.

In high school, Farr rode around Bakersfield in boots and camouflage dungarees as he and his friends scouted areas such as the almond orchard across from their high school to play paintball or jump their BMX bikes, said one of his best friends, Jared Russell, 20.

Farr also joined the Explorer Scouts and rode along with sheriff's deputies nearly every weekend, preferring to patrol the city's east side because "that's where the action is," Russell said.

After graduation, he worked as a security guard at a hospital and shopping mall.

On the day before boot camp, Farr reunited with his mother, Carrol Alderete. He insisted that she meet his fiancee, Sara Ransom, 16.

Three weeks later, Sara was killed in a car accident.

"Clay was totally in love," Alderete said. "It was just like a fairy tale."

Farr returned home to bury his fiancee but didn't stay. He turned down the Army's offer to take a few months off before returning to boot camp. He told his mother, "It was part of our plan, and I'm just going to stick with it," she said.

“He loved defending his country. He was very patriotic,” his father Patrick Farr told The Bakersfield Californian. “When the war first started, he was in high school. If I would have let him enlist at that age, and the Army would have taken him, he would have gone right then.”

In an April 2004 letter, Farr promised Alderete that he would be careful. "Mom, you have a no-fear son, but I know when I've gone too far, and I'll stop before I get hurt," he wrote.

His father said he had a bad feeling. His son's Humvee had been hit by roadside bombs twice in two weeks. Farr was not injured the first time, but was hospitalized with a concussion a week later, on Feb. 19, his 21st birthday.

Despite those close calls, Farr told his father that he had decided to reenlist.

"He said, 'Well, my job's not done here, Dad, and I can't leave because if we don't finish this thing over here....' He guaranteed me that those insurgents would be in our backyards,' " Patrick Farr said.

If Clay Farr was not scared for his safety, his father was. "After the second bomb hit, I told my wife something's wrong," Patrick Farr recalled. "I said we need to prepare ourselves, something is about to happen."

A week later, his son was killed. Alderete said she has been told since her son's death that he usually drove the Humvee but was not behind the wheel Feb. 26 because of his head injury. The driver survived, she said.

Farr was awarded two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star. He was buried March 14 at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

Next to Sara's grave in Bakersfield, Farr's father also buried a coffin filled with stuffed animals, clothes, photographs and other mementos from friends and family.

"I know he's in heaven," Alderete said. "I know he's with Sara."

In addition to his parents, Farr is survived by a brother, Chad; his stepmother, Silver Farr; his stepfather, Anthony Alderete; and two stepsisters, Amanda Cope and Taylor Alderete.

In Loving Memory of Spc. Clay Patrick Farr - US Army Killed in Action February 19, 1985 - February 26, 2006

Today my precious son would have turned 22 years old.

On September 11, 2001 Clay's life was changed forever when he witnessed the atrocious attack by fanatical terrorists on the World Trade Center. Nearly 3000 innocent people were killed. Clay never forgot the people and their families who suffered in that attack.

Clay graduated from Centennial High School in 2003 and enlisted in the US Army, Clay didn't walk to the Army recruiter's office, he ran. America called, he answered.

Clay was an American Patriot. Clay was assigned to the 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, NY. He deployed to Iraq, August 2005.

While Clay was away serving and protecting his country, his fiancée, Sara Ransom, was killed in an automobile accident. Clay was crushed, but Sara's death served to intensify Clay's trust in Jesus Christ. When he would call home from Iraq, I would tell him how proud we all are of him, but how afraid I was for him. He always replied, "...not to worry dad, if I'm killed I'll only go to heaven, because I'm saved".

After Clay's death I spoke with some of the soldiers he had served with. One told me that they had been in several fire fights and said Clay was never afraid. He had asked Clay why he wasn't afraid. The soldier said Clay told him "I believe 100% in Jesus Christ as my savior and if I'm killed I'll only go to heaven, so there is nothing to be afraid of." In the last three weeks of Clay's life he was struck three different times by roadside bombs. The first bomb struck Clay's Humvee and nobody was injured. Their armor had held up. Clay called home, told me about the bomb and said "oh, by the way dad, I'm re-enlisting". The next week a second bomb struck Clay's Humvee and wounded Clay on his 21st birthday. He called home to tell me he had been wounded and the doctor was going to keep him in the hospital for a week. Clay played down his injuries and convinced the doctor to release him that same day. While still recovering from his wounds from the prior week, Clay was back on patrol and killed when a third roadside bomb struck his vehicle.

Clay received numerous awards while in the Army. Among those were two Army Achievement Medals, Combat Action Badge, Two Purple Hearts, and the Bronze Star.

Clay unselfishly gave his life to protect the citizens of the United States from an enemy who is determined to destroy her. Clay fought in a war that must be fought, never forgetting those who died on 9/11. Jesus said: "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends." (John 15:13). This verse from the Holy Bible is the essence of Clay's character. Clay was prepared spiritually for death because he believed in Jesus Christ as his savior. He now has eternal life and walks in paradise.

The gift of eternal life is free and easy to obtain. The Holy Bible tells us what we must do in order to attain eternal life. I Corinthians 15:3-4 states; "For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures ..." Romans 10:9-13 states; "...that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame." For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For "whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved." The jailer in Acts 16:30-31 asked Paul and Silas "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" So they said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household" In order to be saved, you must first believe Jesus Christ died on the cross to absolve you of your sins, believe Jesus was resurrected on the third day, and confess your sins to Jesus. After this you should be baptized, although it is not required in order to be saved, it should be done. Mark 16:16 states, "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned." You can only receive the gift of grace through Jesus Christ. Acts 4:2 states, "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." Jesus told the Apostle Thomas, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." (John 14:6) Clay was spiritually prepared for death, in that his belief in Jesus Christ as his savior kept him from being separated from God.

This is where my family and I draw our comfort and strength. We know there is eternal life after this world. A life with no sorrow or pain, only happiness and joy, and the knowledge of the joyful reunion we will have when we see our precious Clay again. Clay's life is an example of how a person even when faced with the adversities of life and the bullets of an enemy, could not be swayed from his belief in his savior Jesus Christ.

Do for yourself the most important thing you can ever do. Accept Jesus Christ as your savior and receive the gift of eternal life. Say this prayer: "Heavenly Father, I know I am a sinner. I deserve the consequences of my sins. I believe Jesus Christ is my Savior, and His death and resurrection provided for forgiveness of my sins. Thank you for saving and forgiving me. In Jesus name I pray, Amen!" God Bless our military, law enforcement officers, firefighters all who unselfishly protect us, and God Bless America. Patrick and Silver Farr

In Loving Memory of Spc. Clay Patrick Farr Feb. 19, 1985 - Feb. 26, 2006

Today is a day of remembrance for our precious son. Clay made a decision to stand for something he believed in, protecting yours, mine and his way of life. It has been two years since Clay paid the ultimate price for that belief. Clay was killed in action in Balad, Iraq fighting against those who are determined to destroy our right to live freely. We are very proud of our son and he is missed deeply by his family and many friends.

John 15:13 "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." Patrick & Silver Farr

Army Spc. Clay P. Farr was killed in action on 2/26/06.


kyle Runion said...

My uncle knew clay farr, so do i but i don't remember him that well he died when i was 2.His friends put stuff in a casket for him it was put nexed to his girlfriend.Also jared russel knew him,kent kniffen,jason brown, and my uncles name is Mark Abernathy.I just wish he was around still so i actualy would get to know him, we could have rode bikes,dirtbikes,he could have toght me how to drive.But all i can do is pray that he is doing fine.

William Runion

kyle Runion said...

My uncle marky abernaty jr knew clay farr thay were like brothers, from the video my uncle has of,clay and some othere friends, thay made it from befor clay left to the militry,it hade Kent Kniffen, Jared Russell,and Jason Brown,also my uncle Mark Abernathy.I just wish he was still alive he was a good man from what i'v heard.I'v meat him befor just don't remember because i was little he died when i was almost 3.A intresting fact is that the day people here in (bakersfield) (CA) that day thay baread stuff here for him was acualy my 3erd B-DAY!! wich i think is priety cool.I just wish he was the one to teach me to shoot a gun or to help me with homework but i think things happen for a reson and just say may god be with him in eather life.