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Honoring fallen veteran’s service: Ceremony creates Clark Run/Dive Fire Lane

A painting of Maj. Jeremy Clark is unveiled as his family looks on during a dedication ceremony at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum Dec. 15. A portion of the Molinelli Aerial Gunnery Range Complex was renamed the Clark Run/Dive Fire Lane in his honor. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)

A painting of Maj. Jeremy Clark is unveiled as his family looks on during a dedication ceremony at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum Dec. 15. A portion of the Molinelli Aerial Gunnery Range Complex was renamed the Clark Run/Dive Fire Lane in his honor. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)

Published: December 18, 2014

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (December 18, 2014) -- The memory and legacy of a veteran who lost his life four years ago still lives on at Fort Rucker as Soldiers and family members gathered to remember the fallen veteran and dedicate a portion of a range in his honor.

Fort Rucker dedicated the now Clark Run/Dive Fire Lane at Molinelli Aerial Gunnery Range Complex during a ceremony at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum Dec. 15 in honor of Jeremy Clark, an instructor pilot and former Army major who lost his life Dec. 14, 2010, while conducting a live-fire training exercise in an OH-58D Kiowa Warrior.

Clark’s family members were on hand to unveil the sign showing the dedicated lane, as well as a painting of Clark standing in front of an OH-58D. A copy of the painting will be displayed at the 1st Battalion, 14th Aviation Regiment headquarters – the unit with which he served as an instructor pilot.

“So much has been said about the loyalty and the service of Maj. Jeremy Clark,” said Col. Jayson A. Altieri, 110th Aviation Brigade commander, during the ceremony. “We are surrounded by the monuments of some of the greatest figures in our Aviation history, and while we gather at our newest memorial to honor and remember a man who served his nation and fought for the freedom of our republic, this memorial will be added to that pantheon of memorials.”

A monument reflects as a mirror reflects, said the 110th Avn. Bde. commander, so that when people see the name of the honored they will find it in their own reflection. It’s that reflection that is important for the healing process, he added.

“It has been said that a memorial reflects a hunger for healing. I do not know if perfect healing ever occurs, but I know that sometimes when a bone is broken if we put it together well, in the end it will be stronger,” said Altieri. “I believe that in the years since Jeremy has left us the healing has begun, and I personally hope that someday the healing will be complete.

“Although Major Clark died in 2010, the opportunity for him to live on is vested in you and all of our future Aviators,” he said, speaking to the Aviators in attendance. “Go out there and make sure that you keep the patriotic spirit alive and well that Major Clark embodied. We will never forget Jeremy. We will never forget his devotion and his sacrifice. Jeremy’s memory stands before us, marching into time and marching into a shared memory forever.”

Clark began his military career in 1998 after graduation from California State University in Sacramento when he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army. From there, he attended the Aviation Officers Basic Course and completed Initial Entry Rotary Wing training.

He served in multiple countries, including Germany and Korea, as well as multiple deployments, including Kosovo in support of KFOR 2B, and Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

He departed from active duty in the Army in 2009, but continued to serve the Army as a Department of the Army civilian OH-58D instructor pilot.

Clark’s wife, Lt. Col. Jennifer Clark, was on hand to offer her thanks to everyone involved in the dedication.

“I just wanted to express our gratitude and thank everyone who pushed to get this done … and everyone who helped us here, and everyone who made it here today to honor Jeremy,” she said. “On behalf of the family, I’d just like to say thank you.”

This article was originally published at http://www.army.mil/article/140335/

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