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Memorial Day Message
PREPARED FOR: SARA CLARK MEMORIAL DAY, MAY 30th

Dear Sara,

Please allow me to share a personal Memorial Day story with you...

This past Gunnery Sergeant Michael J. ClarkThursday (May 26th) I attended a dedication ceremony for a brand new EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) training facility at Camp Pendleton, in honor of Gunnery Sergeant Michael J. Clark who died in Iraq while making that country safe for our troops and Iraqi civilians.
 
During the ceremony, we heard several stories of incredible bravery where Gunnery Sergeant Clark put his life at risk over and over again in some of the most dangerous situations you can imagine.

Gunnery Sergeant Michael J. Clark Explosive Ordnance Disposal Facility dedication

Now, I didn’t know Michael, but I did – and do – know his wife; Sara Clark, who invited me to join her, her beautiful young daughters and the "EOD Family" that Thursday morning in Camp Pendleton.

You see, Sara is also Swedish born and I heard about what happened to the Clark family through the Swedish "grapevine" here in San Diego. Before long, I was sitting in my office with Sara in order to help her with some basic financial planning after Michael died.

I remember that day.

I remember how we hugged - and cried - together in my office.

I remember thinking about her two little girls - about four and six years old at the time - and it broke my heart that they would grow up without their father.

I remember making a special committment that day to look out for Sara and her girls. Just like the entire "EOD Family" embraces their own.

It was the least I could do. It's the least any of us can do.

Over the years I've come to know Sara more and not once was she bitter. 

Quote the contrary. Sara is rightfully proud of her husband who sacrificed for all of us so that we - and the Iraqi people - can live in a safer world.

   "Greater love hath no man than this,
   that a man lay down his life for his friends," John 15:13.


One time Sara shared with me how President Bush came to Camp Pendleton not long after Michael had died, and the president spent quiet, prayerful time with all who had lost a loved one – individually. They cried, they prayed, they spoke, and yes, they even laughed a little.

The president spent about 20 minutes with Sara and her daughters. Individual time. Just with them. And he did the same with all the others. An entire afternoon. Nobody knew about this. The president didn’t make a big deal about it – nor should he.
 
The price that her family has paid is one that most of us will never have to make, thanks to men like Michael.

Today, Sara and her daughters live in Washington State and are doing well. 

So, while today we especially remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice, let’s also make a committment to the families left behind.

Humbly,

Tony Krvaric
GRATEFUL AMERICAN

PS: For more about Gunnery Sergeant Michael J. Clark, please visit his Facebook memorial page.
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