This was March 20, 2010, at the Landstuhl Fisher House:
Ramstein Air Base, Germany -- Members of the Kaiserslautern Military Community gave a few hours of their time to bring just a bit of home to families staying at the Fisher House at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany, March 20. Volunteers from the KMC 5/6 organization, along with other units, provided meals from their own kitchens to the families and patients staying at the Fisher House.
The volunteers unloaded their delivery one after another. The kitchen of the Fisher House soon became filled with an assortment of dishes and desserts. The meals consisted from a whole roast to the most simple, yet heartfelt, tray of cookies.
"The variety of food is really amazing. There's something here for everybody," said Karen Williams-Clarkson from Fairbanks, Alaska. "There's even something for my grandson."
Mrs. Williams-Clarkson is the mother of Sgt. Joel David Clarkson. She was staying at the Fisher House, along with her family of five, waiting to escort her son home.
FORT BRAGG (WTVD) -- An Army Ranger has died from wounds he received in a conflict in Afghanistan.
Sgt. Joel David Clarkson, 23, was seriously wounded in a fierce engagement with a heavily armed enemy force in the Farah Province on March 13. He was taken to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Landstuhl, Germany where he died on March 16.
Clarkson served with served with Company A, 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.
He was on his fifth deployment in support of the War on Terror with three previous deployments to Iraq and one to Afghanistan.
"Sgt. Clarkson was the epitome of the Ranger Team Leader -- he cared deeply for his men, always led from the front, and was at his best when the situation was the most dire," said Col. Michael E. Kurilla, commander, 75th Ranger Regiment. "He is a hero to our Nation, the Army, and his Family."
According to the Army, the Rangers ultimately killed eight enemy fighters during that battle, destroyed their base of operations along with weapons and ammunition, and captured a key leader of the terrorist network, according to official military reports.
Clarkson is survived by his wife, Cassandra and their son, Orion of Norfolk, Va.; his parents, Steve and Karen Clarkson of Fairbanks, Ala.; and his older sister, Jessica.
Godspeed, Sgt. Clarkson. RLTW!
Update: In a follow up to this story, Doni Turner writes about saying goodbye to her son-in-law.