One Year Later- LCpl Philip Clark
Sometimes all you can do is laugh, especially when memories are all you have.
It's been one year since Lance Cpl Philip Clark was buried at Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, but like so many before him, something special happened. Clark's death brought together his immediate family, with his military family.
"That's what he would want, you need to take care of the family," said Lance Cpl. Nick Falato.
Before they go back to Afghanistan in July, Falato and a group of 1/6 marines stopped in Gainesville.
"It was really incredible just being with them, they're the closest thing we have to Philip, they're his brothers, they went to war with him," said Mike Clark, Philip's dad.
"There were times he was offered a chance to rest, 'hey your squad is going out today, you've been out every day for the last month, hey take a break, we can have this guy walk point' absolutely not…he wouldn't have it, he wanted to be out there every time his marines were out there. Never missed a single patrol" said Lance Cpl. Adam Thomas.
Thomas says he and Clark were point men.
"Wherever your squad walks, he walks first, if there's an obstacle in the way, an explosive device, you're the first one to see it- first one to encounter it," he said.
On May 18, 2010, a pull string IED was detonated, killing Clark.
"The chance we had to grieve was just with our brothers that day," he said.
As Clark was honored back in his home town, the men he died beside-kept pushing forward.
"A few days later we had a memorial service for him there in Afghanistan," he said.
Falato says Clark was that special piece to the puzzle.
"There was a time I was down, he could make some kind of joke, that would make us laugh or something-make everything some what better," he said.
"Him and all his brothers who died before him, wouldn't have it any other way--- that's just the way they wanted it-just for you to appreciate the life you live-and what it means to be an American," said Thomas.
"He knew that he was there to do a job, and we respect that," said Clark.
Two months before he deployed to Afghanistan, Clark was married to his wife Ashton in Jacksonville, North Carolina.
Ashton currently lives in San Antonio where she attends the Milan school of Cosmetology, and expects to graduate this December.
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