The Army released a statement yesterday saying that there was no bullet wound or visible injury in the death of an Army captain who died downrange while talking to his wife over Skype.
Capt. Bruce Kevin Clark’s family had released a statement over the weekend indicating that after he suddenly disappeared from the screen during the chat session, his wife was able to spot what appeared to be a bullet hole in the closet behind him.
While no official cause of death has been released (an autoposy toxicity report is in the works) the Army is certain that a weapon was not involved in Clark’s death.
It would be easy to condemn Susan Orellana-Clark, Clark’s wife, for speaking about her husband’s death before all the information was available, for saying that foul play was involved and insinuating that the Army wasn’t telling the whole story.
But put yourself in her shoes for a moment. Your husband vanishes from a Skype call and does not come back, although the connection to his room stays active. You sit and scrutinize the screen, looking for any clues of your husband as you make frantic phone calls trying to get someone downrange to come to his room and check on him. At long last two men come in and check your husband’s pulse, but provide no details on what they think has happened to him – other than that he is not alive.
Your world shatters. Your mind races. You want answers – but the military gives you nothing except that they are investigating.
And then the rumors start to fly. With the lack of information to the contrary, people start assuming that your husband killed himself. And you hate that -- you hate that people think that.
So you do what anyone would do. You make a statement giving your version of the events – saying that you think foul play was involved.
And that's what Susan did. And who can blame her? Her search for answers and inaccurate statement just bring this story that much closer to our hearts, and lets us relate to her that much more.
When we at SpouseBuzz run stories about events like this one or spouses notified of their husbands' deaths via Facebook or text message, we often hear back that the people we are writing about have read our posts and appreciate the sympathy we and our readers feel for them. Feel free to leave your notes for Susan below.