A military spouse witnessed the unimaginable over Skype early this week – the death of her husband downrange.
According to a family statement, Susan Orellana-Clark saw her husband, Capt. Bruce Kevin Clark, die May 1 during one of their regular Skype dates. The statement from this story:
“Bruce’s wife tragically witnessed her husband’s death during one of their regular Skype video chats,” the statement said. “At the time of the incident, the family was hoping for a rescue and miracle, but later learned that it was not to be,” according to the family’s statement. “Although the circumstances were unimaginable, Bruce’s wife and extended family will be forever thankful that he and his wife were together in his last moments.”
I cannot fathom the pain this family, including their two children, must be experiencing right now. I imagine the horrible, gut wrenching feeling she must be experiencing, and I know my thoughts are nowhere near her reality.
And my heart breaks for her. I want to sit and hold this woman until she knows that the whole military spouse community is grieving with her – just like we grieve with any war widow, no matter what the circumstance.
Capt. Clark was a medic working in Southern Afghanistan at the time of his death. We don’t know the circumstances of how he died – whether by enemy strike, accident or otherwise.
While the Department of Defense did release a statement May 2 announcing Capt. Clark’s death, they did not include any details on what happened – typical when the exact events are under investigation as they are with incident.
But it doesn’t matter. That’s not what this is about right now.
We all know that Skype gives us a coveted window into the world in which our spouses live while deployed and an invaluable connection with their faces. But we also know that technology it isn’t always a blessing … and usually for reasons that are nowhere near the one illustrated by this tragic event.