Sunday, May 22, 2011

Army Sgt. 1st Class Clifford E. Beattie

Remember Our Heroes

Army Sgt. 1st Class Clifford E. Beattie, 37, of Medical Lake, Wash.

SFC Beattie was assigned to 1st Battalion, 63rd Armor Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.; died May 22, 2011 in Baghdad of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. Also killed was Pfc. Ramon Mora Jr.

SFC Beattie had participated in a run to honor fallen soldiers the day he was killed.

SFC Beattie graduated Medical Lake High School in 1992. He was an infantry platoon sergeant and had been in the Army for 17 years.

During his career, SFC Beattie had also served as a drill instructor at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., and had earned the Expert Infantryman Badge and Combat Infantryman Badge.

Deploying last November, this was SFC Beattie's third deployment to Iraq.

"You just can't believe that it really happened," said mother, Rhonda.

His mom said he knew the risks when he enlisted nearly two decades ago. "I says Cliff why are you going? And first off he says mom it's my job, and I says I know, but why you, Cliff? You're my only son and he said mom I'm going for you and dad, I'm going for my sisters, I'm going for my wife and my kids. I want them to have a place that is safe and protected," Rhonda said.

"You don't expect to have it happen to you until it does," SFC Beattie's father, Victor, said.

Victor, an Air Force veteran, was his son's inspiration to join the Army. "He probably did more in 37 years than a lot of people do in a lifetime," Victor said of his son.

"When Victor would be deployed we depended on Cliff to kind of hold us together and take care of us," said his mother.

"We feel him here with us and we know he's at peace and our faith gives us a lot of comfort because we know we'll see him again," his mother said.

“He was always joking around,” said sister, Misty Carson. “Always smiling. Always happy.”

“He was the life of any room he went into,” said sister, Anna Beattie. “He just had a smile that would light up the whole room and laughter that was just contagious.”

SFC Beattie and his wife, Karen, also SFC in the Army, would have celebrated their third wedding anniversary on July 18th.

Washington Governor Chris Gregoire has directed that flags at all Washington state agency buildings be lowered to half-staff Wednesday, June 1, in memory of SFC Beattie.

SFC Beattie was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal (second award) and the Purple Heart.

Funeral arrangements are pending, but SFC Beattie will be cremated and likely be buried at the Veterans Cemetery in Medical Lake, according to reports.

SFC Beattie is survived by his wife, Karen; a 17-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son from a previous marriage; his mom, Rhonda and his dad, Victor, and three sisters.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Clifford E. Beattie was killed in action on 5/22/11.

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