BOLTON, Conn. (WTNH) – Family and town leaders are mourning the loss of 41-year-old Michael Clark, an army reservist who died Wednesday.
Clark and nine other soldiers were injured after lightning struck the group during a training exercise at Fort Gordon in Augusta, Georgia. Clark was rushed to an army hospital, where he died from his injuries.
Michael Clark’s wife said he loved his family fiercely. Every time he was deployed, she said he left letters on their pillows.
“Him leaving was how we worked. Even when he was away, he was involved and never missed a moment of the kids’ life,” said his wife.
She said “everything he did, he did for his family.”
Clark and his family live in Bolton. It’s a small town with a population of 4,800. First Selectman Pamela Sawyer said this is a huge loss for the community.
“We are just so rocked by this experience of having lost a soldier while he’s in training. Not when he’s in wartime in a very severe situation. But at training in Georgia,” she said. “He served two missions and came home from wartime and to have him lose his life in annual training under an act of nature is just startling and shocking.”
Clark also worked for the Bone and Joint Institute at Hartford Hospital for 7 years.
MD in Chief, John Grady Benson shared a message to colleagues saying in part:
“All of us at BJI–patients and staff–immeasurably benefited from Mike Clark’s diverse experience, knowledge, skills, mentorship, positive attitude, and infectious smile during the past 7 years…. In Mark Pearson’s words: ‘Mike was quick to make a joke, quick to help any of us who were in need… he loved his BJI family and split his time between helping our patients, being with his family, and fighting for the nation he believed in. We could all take a page from his book.’”
Clark had just been promoted to Master Sergeant E8 according to his family. He leaves behind his wife and two young children.