The body of a U.S. Army medic who died suddenly in Afghanistan during a Skype chat with his wife arrived Saturday in New York, in advance of his planned funeral.
More than 100 mourners and admirers assembled at a Rochester airport to pay tribute to Capt. Bruce Kevin Clark. Many carried American flags. The group included veterans of four other U.S. wars, and members of Clark's family.
Clark's wife, Susan Orellana-Clark, was in Texas chatting with him via Skype on April 30 when he collapsed. Her family has said she tried for two hours to get help for her dying husband, before finally seeing military officials enter the room where he lay.
Initially, Clark's family said they believed he had been shot, and that after he fell his wife could see a bullet hole in the closet behind him, but military officials have since said there was no bullet wound on his body. The cause of his death is still being investigated.
Clark's body arrived in Rochester just before 10 a.m. aboard a Kalitta Air cargo plane. His casket, draped in an American flag, was lowered into a gray hearse while bagpipers played "Amazing Grace."
"It's important that people never forget the sacrifices that the soldiers and their families make for all of us," said Susan MacDougall, of Brighton, who was among the mourners. "They give of themselves in ways that we can only imagine."
Clark was 43. His wife is from Spencerport, where his funeral is scheduled to take place Tuesday. He and his family lived there for six years before he joined the Army in 2006.
Clark grew up in Michigan. He was assigned to a medical center in El Paso and then deployed to Afghanistan in March.
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