As I write this, I’m sitting on a plane flying up to Albany, NY, to pay my respects and celebrate the life of a fallen classmate and friend. Lt Colonel Todd Clark was killed in action while on his fifth tour of duty, his second in Afghanistan. This week we lost a true American hero, Purple Heart recipient (WIA during his first tour in Afghanistan), amazing son, husband, father, friend and CBA Brother. Todd was an amazing human being.
I’ve always been proud of my time at CBA. My experiences there from seventh grade through High School were some of the major influences on my youth and young adulthood shaping who I am today, that and achieving the rank of Eagle Scout with the BSA. This past week has renewed my love of the brotherhood created by the CBA atmosphere and culture. While sitting here I’m messaging with classmates and reading an mail string about all of us gathering and supporting our fallen Brother’s family at this horrible time of pain and disbelief.
The CBA Class of 1990 must be one of the best to ever graduate from the establishment. More than 23 years later our Brothers are all rallying together as if it were yesterday. Some might criticize social platforms and the digital age for deterring youth from the ability to converse but Facebook reconnected many of us years ago before our 20th reunion. We had a small graduating class of 93 men, yet we had roughly 70 attend the reunion traveling from all over the world to reunite and reconnect. The gathering began at noon and people were still hanging out at 2:00 am the next day. Unity!
I remember that day as if it were yesterday. Todd was permitted to leave Walter Reed to attend and he was positive, upbeat and ready for life’s next challenge. A few years later he volunteered to go back to Afghanistan for a second time to train them as a high level strategist. He didn’t have to go back, that’s just the kind of man Todd was, showing his great love of our Country and its freedoms. A true leader, a real man, a true American hero.
Now Facebook certainly does not replace true human interaction, conversation, and friendship, but it does allow those who live far apart in this global economy to stay connected and keep current on each others lives. Today when I arrive at Lt Colonel Todd Clark’s services I’ll engage in real conversation with his family and friends. We have kept in touch over the years and I know many of us will stay connected through the Internet and Facebook to continue being part of each others lives.
Our brotherhood runs strong, together we stand united to honor our fallen Brother. CBA for Life!