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Army Spc. Chazray C. Clark

Died September 18, 2011 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

24, of Ecorse, Mich.; assigned to 4th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.; died Sept. 18 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using an improvised explosive device.

‘He was a proud soldier’

The Associated Press

ECORSE, Mich. — An Ecorse native killed in Afghanistan was proud to serve his country, his widow said.

Spc. Chazray C. Clark, 24, a combat engineer, was home on leave about two weeks before he was killed Sept. 18 by an explosive device in Kandahar province, Christina Clark told WJBK-TV.

“I know he’s with God and that he died for his country, and he was a proud soldier,” she said. “He loved what he did. He was brave enough to go over there and fight for our country ... and he died for that.”

Chazray Clark was with his unit when it was attacked by insurgents. He was part of 4th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, based at Fort Riley, Kan. Clark joined the Army in September 2009 and began his first deployment to Afghanistan in February 2011.

“He stood firm in what he wanted to do, and I stood firm behind him,” Clark’s mother, Keyko Clark, told the television station. “These are the consequences that we have to deal with.

“He wanted to make sure that I was going to be strong enough to deal with it if this happened. Who’s not going to grieve being a mom losing a kid? But I reassured him it will be OK. I will be OK.”

In addition to his wife and mother, Clark is survived by a father, sister, three brothers and a stepson.

‘Family was important to him’

By Joe Rossiter
Detroit Free Press

Being the devoted family man that he was, Army Spec. Chazray Clark spent his two-week furlough this summer immersing himself in fun activities with his 9-year-old stepson and his wife.

Besides going to movies, they visited arcades where they played miniature golf, took turns swatting baseballs in batting cages and speeding around a track on go-carts.

"Family was important to him," said his wife, Christina Clark. "The two of us had a great marriage and he just adored his son."

Clark of Ecorse, Mich., died Sept. 18 in Afghanistan's Kandahar province of injuries suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device, the Defense Department said. He was 24.

"He felt so proud to serve his country and it was something he planned to do for the rest of his life," his wife said. "He wanted to better himself and told me he planned to re-up and stay in the military."

After joining the Army in September 2009 and spending time in boot camp, Mr. Clark was assigned to Ft. Riley in Kansas, where he spent a year before being sent to Afghanistan in February as a combat engineer.

Born March 2, 1987, in Detroit, Mr. Clark graduated in 2005 from Ecorse High School, where he played on the football, basketball and baseball teams.

The couple met in 2003 when they were working at a KFC outlet in Lincoln Park. He was a cook and she was a drive-through cashier. They married seven years later.

"He was my rock and the best thing that ever happened to me, and I was the best thing that ever happened to him," his wife said.

The couple kept in contact through mail, Facebook and Skype.

"I talked to him three hours before he went on his last mission," his wife recalled. "He said, 'I'm going out on a mission and will call in 48 hours.' I never heard from him again."

Instead, two military officials showed up at her home on a Sunday morning.

"As soon as I opened the door, I knew what it meant," she said. "I couldn't believe it. I thought he was coming home to me."

In addition to his wife, survivors include his stepson, Robert Price II; his mother, Keyko Clark; a sister, and three brothers.

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