FORT GORDON, Ga. (AP) — The U.S. military has identified a soldier killed by a lightning strike at a Georgia base as a 41-year-old Army reservist who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Sgt. 1st Class Michael D. Clark of Bolton, Connecticut, served for 22 years on active duty and as a reservist and had deployed four times to Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. Army Reserve said in a statement. It said Clark died and nine other soldiers were injured Wednesday when lightning struck the group during a training exercise at Fort Gordon in Augusta, Georgia.
Clark was rushed to the Army post’s hospital along with the injured soldiers. All nine survivors were in good condition Thursday, the Army Reserve said.
Clark and eight of the injured soldiers were assigned to the 933rd Forward Resuscitative Surgical Company, which performs emergency surgery and other urgent treatment on wounded soldiers in combat. The unit is based in Paducah, Kentucky.
The 933rd FRSD family is devastated by the loss of our brother, Sgt. 1st Class Michael Clark. Sgt. 1st Clark was a loving husband, father, and a Patriot who deeply loved our country. His leadership, knowledge, experience, and love for his fellow Soldiers was immeasurable. Sgt. 1st Clark’s smile and laughter were infectious and always brought joy to everyone around him. Words will never be able to describe how much he will be missed, but his influence on our unit and Soldiers will remain forever. This especially hurts because not only was Sgt. 1st Clark one of my Soldiers, but he was my friend and brother. Our prayers are with his family.Maj. Stephen W. Rhinehart, commander, 933rd Forward Resuscitative Surgical Company
Soldiers from the 933rd were visiting Fort Gordon for an annual training exercise for medical units to improve their skills in the field.
In 2018, News 8 featured a homecoming of Sgt. Clark surprising his family at Six Flags New England. He had surprised his wife and two children after being away from them for nine months.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.