I was there, and I will never forget, the job of a medic.
Bob and Connie Clark became acquainted with the Army Reserve's
14th Quartermaster Detachment in Hempfield Township when their
daughter, Spc. Beverly Clark, brought them to the unit's open
house and Christmas gatherings.
"(Beverly) loved everyone here, from the staff to their
families, so she was so excited and proud to introduce us to
them. They were like a family to her," said Connie Clark, of
Armagh, Indiana County.
Beverly Clark, 23, died on Feb. 25, 1991, with 18 other men
and women serving in the 14th Quartermaster when an Iraqi Scud
missile slammed into the barracks housing their water
purification unit in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, during the waning
days of Operation Desert Storm.
In all, 28 soldiers were killed and 99 injured from the 14th
Quartermaster and the 477th Provisional Transportation Unit in
the fiery explosion that leveled the quarters. The 14th
Quartermaster sustained the greatest number of casualties of
any coalition unit during the war.
On Sunday, a memorial service marking anniversary of
the attack was attended by roughly 40 family members, friends
and veterans at the unit's headquarters in the village of
Carbon. Over time, the bond has grown each year among
attendees who loved the unit known as "Water Dawgs."
"After the tragedy that happened, I think we all grew closer,
because we all have something in common," said Clark, bearing
a pin with her late daughter's photograph on her coat. "Coming
here on this day means a lot, because this really was a home
away from home for our daughter and the other soldiers, and
kind of like their second family."
During a vigil at the site of a memorial dedicated to the
unit, Beverly Clark's sister, Bobbi, said a short prayer in
the cold, pouring rain. Family members, including some young
children, placed flowers and teddy bears at the base of a
wicker wreath wrapped with a yellow ribbon on which was
written, "We will always remember."
"Thank you that we have this day to remember and spend
together, and for the people that couldn't be here today,
please encourage them and lift them up," said Bobbi Clark 38,
After the anniversary, officials decided to hold
full-scale memorials every five years. In other years, those
attending normally choose to remember their fallen loved ones
in silence, said Jack Gordon, chief of information and public
affairs for the Army Reserve's 99th Regional Readiness
Command, based in Moon Township, Allegheny County.
"When you think about 16 years having passed since that day,
children who were babies then are grown ... that's a lot of
years," Gordon said.
Connie Clark expressed gratitude to the 14th Quartermaster for
allowing her and the others to gather there yesterday.
"This is a hard day of the year, and being able to come
together like this helps us to get through it," Clark said.
Hempfield unit's losses remembered - Tribune-Review
By A.J. Panian
Monday, February 26, 2007
Labels: SCUD desert storm guardsmen Saudia Arabia Army veteran women PTSD