PHILIP P. CLARK
US MARINE CORPS
Philip P. Clark
Lance Corporal Philip P. Clark lived most of his life in Gainesville, Florida. Philip loved being the center of attention and the life of the party. He was always respectful in the classroom, but he also enjoyed joking around such as making bird sounds in a silent classroom. He could make everyone laugh. However, one subject never inspired humor in Philip: patriotism.
Philip was born in Jackson, Mississippi, and moved to Gainesville, Florida in 1998. He was a 2008 graduate of Buchholz High School where he played football, was on the weightlifting team, and was a member of the Air Force Junior ROTC. Philip was an avid Ole Miss Rebels fan and loved to hunt and spend time with family and friends.
Philip joined the Marine Corps in June 2008. His drive to become a member of the Marine Corps became obvious during his senior year of high school when he dropped out of football to focus on preparing for boot camp at Parris Island, South Carolina. "He would put weights in his backpack and then go out for a run," his father, Mike Clark, recalled. "He trained like that because he did not want to be the one lagging behind during basic training."
Upon completion of his training, Phillip, a rifleman, was assigned to 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. On March 1, 2009, Cark was promoted to Lance Corporal and later that year was married to Ashton Guenther from San Antonio, Texas.
In December 2009, Lance Corporal Clark, at age19, deployed to Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. On May 18, 2010 while on foot patrol in support of combat operations in Helmand Province, a pull string IED was detonated, wounding Philip. He later died of his injuries. Mike Clark said,“He died doing what he wanted to do, what he believed in.”
Lance Corporal Clark's awards include the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, and NATO International Security Assistance Force Medal.
ONE YEAR LATER
Philip with Stepmom Tammy Clark
Philip with father Mike Clark