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Wife watches soldier husband's death on Skype

TERRY WALLACE
Last updated 07:53 07/05/2012
Captain Bruce Kevin Clark, a Texas-based Army medic serving in Afghanistan, who died in mysterious circumstances while chatting with his wife via Skype.
AP
DEATH MYSTERY: Captain Bruce Kevin Clark, a Texas-based Army medic serving in Afghanistan, who died in mysterious circumstances while chatting with his wife via Skype.

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An Army nurse showed no alarm or discomfort before suddenly collapsing during a Skype video chat with his wife, who saw a bullet hole in a closet behind him, his family said early today (NZ time).

Captain Bruce Kevin Clark's family released a statement describing what his wife saw in the video feed from Afghanistan recording her husband's death.

"Clark was suddenly knocked forward," the statement said. "The closet behind him had a bullet hole in it. The other individuals, including a member of the military, who rushed to the home of CPT Clark's wife also saw the hole and agreed it was a bullet hole."

The statement says the Skype link remained open for two hours on April 30 as family and friends in the US and Afghanistan tried to get Clark help.

"After two hours and many frantic phone calls by Mrs Clark, two military personnel arrived in the room and appeared to check his pulse, but provided no details about his condition to his wife," the statement said.

US officials in Afghanistan referred questions to the Pentagon.

The Pentagon has said the cause of Clark's death remains under investigation.

In the statement, Susan Orellana-Clark said she was providing details of what she saw "to honour my husband and dispel the inaccurate information and supposition promulgated by other parties."

Clark, 43, grew up in Michigan and previously lived in Spencerport, New York, a suburb of Rochester, his wife's hometown. He joined the Army in 2006 and was stationed in Hawaii before he was assigned to the William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso. He deployed to Afghanistan in March.

Clarence Davis, spokesman for William Beaumont Army Medical Center, declined to comment on Clark's family's statement.

Clark's body was returned last week to Dover Air Force Base.

He is survived by his wife and two daughters, aged 3 and 9.

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