Moving Tribute to Soldier Who Was Part of Ritchie’s 2012 ‘Fort Drum Day’ at the Capitol
Members of the State Senate honored a fallen hero Tuesday, one day after the body of Lt. Col. Todd Clark was returned to his Albany hometown.
The Senate paused to pass an official resolution (J.2490) honoring Clark, a 17-year Army veteran and member of the 10th Mountain Divisions 2nd Battalion Combat Team who, along with fellow Fort Drum Lt. Col. Jaimie Leonard, was killed earlier this month in Zarghun Shahr, Afghanistan. They were the fourth and fifth Fort Drum soldiers killed in Afghanistan in 2013.
“Their loss is a tragedy—for their families, to their communities and this state,” said Senator Ritchie. “Today, as we learn about Col. Clark, as we honor his life, and his dedication and commitment, I encourage my colleagues to remember the sacrifice of all of our men and women in uniform."
“Say a prayer for them each day. And be proud to live in a nation that produces such brave men and women, like Col. Clark and Col. Leonard.”
Lt. Col. Clark was among more than 100 soldiers who participated in Senator Ritchie’s “Fort Drum Day” last year, in which members of the 10th Mountain Division met with Senators and other state leaders to increase awareness of Fort Drum, and the critical role the post plays in defending American freedom.
Lt. Col. Clark is a native New Yorker who served three tours in Iraq, and was on his second tour of Afghanistan when he was killed while training local security forces.
His funeral was being held Tuesday in an Albany suburb at about the same time that the Senate resolution was being acted on. The resolution was cosponsored by Senators Ritchie and Neil Breslin of Albany.
Senator Ritchie can be seen speaking about Lt. Col. Clark on this video.