Monday, October 04, 2010

Army Pfc. Ryane G. Clark

Remember Our Heroes

Army Pfc. Ryane G. Clark, 22, of New London, Minn.

Pfc. Clark was assigned to 27th Combat Engineer Battalion (Airborne), 20th Combat Engineer Brigade, Fort Bragg, N.C.; died Oct. 4, 2010 in Shekhabad, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit with small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades.

A Fort Bragg-based soldier was killed this week after his unit came under fire in Afghanistan, according to the Department of Defense.

Pfc. Ryane G. Clark, 22, of New London, Minn., died Monday in Shekhabad, south of the capital of Kabul, from wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades, the Pentagon said.

Clark was assigned to the 57th Sapper Company (Combat) (Airborne), 27th Combat Engineer Battalion (Airborne), 20th Combat Engineer Brigade at Fort Bragg.

Col. Richard Kaiser, commander of the 20th Engineer Brigade, said in a statement that Clark's mission in Afghanistan was clearing roadside bombs.

"Ryane Clark was well loved by all his fellow Sappers and comrades and he was absolutely one of our best young troopers," Kaiser said. "He will truly be missed, but will always be remembered fondly for his courage, professionalism, and dedication."

His father, Rick Clark, said his son talked about joining the military "all of his life, since he was 5 years old."

Rick Clark said his son first joined the National Guard and then was activated into the Army a year ago Tuesday.

The younger Clark was a 2007 graduate of New London-Spicer High School, where he was a wrestler. He then studied law enforcement at Alexandria Technical and Community College. He also had been an Eagle Scout with Troop 228 in New London.

A combat engineer, Clark had enlisted in the Army in 2008 and arrived at the 27th Engineer Battalion in October 2009. He had been in Afghanistan since December on his first deployment.

Clark's awards include the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon and Combat Action Badge.

Memorial and funeral arrangements for Clark had not yet been set.

U.S. Army Pfc. Ryane Clark of New London was killed Monday in Afghanistan, according to his family and New London-Spicer school officials.

Clark, 22, is the son of Rick and Tracy Clark of New London. Tracy Clark has announced her son’s death on her Facebook page.

School officials were informed Tuesday morning of Clark’s death, according to NL-S principal Kevin Acquard and athletic director John Vraa.

Rick Clark said Ryane Clark was on duty traveling Monday in a vehicle when a rocket-propelled grenade attack killed him near Shekhabad, south of the Afghanistan capital of Kabul.

The Clark family will be flying early Wednesday to Dover Air Force Base, Wilmington, Del., and return to New London Thursday. Ryane Clark's body will be flown back to Minnesota at a later date.

Ryane Clark was part of the 57th Engineering Company at Fort Bragg, N.C., according to family. He had been deployed in Afghanistan sine Dec. 27, according to his Facebook page.

He was a 2007 graduate of New London-Spicer High School. He was a high school wrestler at NL-S. He had studied law enforcement at Alexandria Technical and Community College. He was also an Eagle Scout with Troop 228.

Rick Clark, Ryan's father, learned about his son's death in a visit from military personnel during which he took careful notes.

"Ryane was a passenger in a lead vehicle of a convoy that was struck by an RPG," Rick Clark said. "He was killed instantly."

Ryane Clark reported for active duty a year ago Tuesday. His father said it was his son's dream since he was 5 years old to serve in the military.

"He was very goal-oriented and he wanted to make a difference," Rick Clark said.

His family supported him unconditionally when he joined the Army last year.

"We were proud that he, during war time, was willing to step up and do his duty, but we also, with our Christian faith, we told him, 'It's not always nice people that you're going to go visit,'" Rick Clark said.

Rick Clark said he can't articulate how he's dealing with the loss of his only son, but Aleah Clark Auge, Ryane's sister, said she's at peace with her brother's death.

"It's where he wanted to be. It's what he wanted to do and you always want to go doing something you want to be doing," she said. "He knew the consequences as everybody does when you go off to war. And the fact that he did something for his country is amazing."

Auge bought herself a laptop with a Web cam before her brother's deployment to stay in touch while he was in Afghanistan. She says Ryane Clark was very close with his 5-year-old nephew Connor.

"So any chance we got, we had that up and on and (we talked) by phone as frequently as we could," she said.

Aleah Auge said her brother didn't talk very much about his work in Afghanistan, but he told her he enjoyed the company of his fellow soldiers.

Pfc. Clark is survived by his parents Rick and Tracy Clark and sister Aleah Clark Auge all of New London.

Army Pfc. Ryane G. Clark was killed in action on 10/4/10.

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