Soldier killed by lightning served on combat surgery team
FORT GORDON, Ga. (AP) — The U.S. military Thursday identified a soldier killed by a lightning strike at a Georgia base as a 41-year-old Army reservist assigned to a medical team that performs emergency surgery in combat zones.
Sgt. 1st Class Michael D. Clark of Bolton, Connecticut, served for 22 years on active duty and as a reservist and had deployed four times to Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. Army Reserve said in a statement. It said Clark died and nine other soldiers were injured Wednesday when lightning struck the group during a training exercise at Fort Gordon in Augusta, Georgia.
Clark was rushed to the Army post’s hospital along with the injured soldiers. All nine survivors were in good condition Thursday, the Army Reserve said.
Clark and eight of the injured soldiers were assigned to the 933rd Forward Resuscitative Surgical Company, which performs emergency surgery and other urgent treatment on wounded soldiers in combat. The unit is based in Paducah, Kentucky.
“Sgt. 1st Clark was a loving husband, father, and a Patriot who deeply loved our country,” the company’s commander, Maj. Stephen W. Rhinehart, said in a statement. “His leadership, knowledge, experience, and love for his fellow soldiers was immeasurable.”
Soldiers from the 933rd were visiting Fort Gordon for an annual training exercise for medical units to improve their skills in the field.