Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

Joel D Clarkson

Fairbanks, Alaska

March 16, 2010

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
23 Army Sgt

2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment

Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington

 Died March 16 at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany, of wounds sustained March 13 during combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

From KING TV 5 king5.com 03/20/10:

Lewis-McChord Ranger killed in Afghanistan

by KING Staff

Posted on March 20, 2010 at 1:14 PM

An Army Ranger from Joint Base Lewis-McChord has died after being critically injured last week in Afghanistan.

The Tacoma News-Tribune reports that Sgt. Joel D. Clarkson, a 23-year-old Alaska native, died Wednesday.

The News Tribune reports that Sgt. Joel D. Clarkson, a member of 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, was on his fifth overseas deployment when he was shot in the head March 12 while on patrol in Helmand province.

The 23-year-old Alaska native died Wednesday.

On Friday, Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell ordered state flags to be lowered to half-staff on Tuesday in honor and memory of Clarkson.

“Sandy and I are deeply saddened by the loss of Sgt. Clarkson,” Governor Parnell said. “He was a brave soldier who sacrificed his life while defending our freedom. We offer our condolences and prayers for his family and friends during this difficult time.”

The News Tribune says Parnell is survived by his wife, Cassandra, and their 9-month-old son, Orion. The couple lived in Puyallup.

Flags at half-staff to honor fallen soldier

The Associated Press

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Alaska’s governor is ordering flags flown at half-staff in honor of a 23-year-old Army Ranger who was fatally wounded in Afghanistan.

Sgt. Joel D. Clarkson died March 16 from wounds sustained March 12 by small-arms fire while his unit was on patrol in Helmland province.

On Friday, Gov. Sean Parnell ordered state flags to be lowered to half-staff on Tuesday in his honor.

He called Clarkson “a brave soldier who sacrificed his life while defending our freedom.”

The Fairbanks native had been assigned to A Company, 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.

Fallen Ranger leaves behind 9-month-old son

The Associated Press

Joel D. Clarkson’s uncle says the 23-year-old Army Ranger’s life came together when he joined the military and started a family.

“Everything just clicked,” David Williams said. “His drive was to be a soldier.”

Williams described his nephew as athletic and outgoing. Clarkson enlisted in the Army from his hometown of Fairbanks, Alaska, and his family said he had been deployed three times to Iraq and twice to Afghanistan.

“Thoughtful, fearless, and engaging, Sgt. Joel Clarkson possessed that intangible stuff we desire most in Ranger — the stuff of which legends are made,” said Col. Mark Odom.

Clarkson died March 16 — three days after he was injured in combat in Helmand province.

After two surgeries in Afghanistan, his family said, he was taken to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, where he died.

He was assigned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

“My world just ended. I have lost my baby,” Clarkson’s mother, Karen Williams-Clarkson, posted on her Facebook page after her son died.

Clarkson’s survivors include his wife, Cassandra, and 9-month-old son, Orion.

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