GUILDERLAND, N.Y. – The funeral service for Lt. Col. Todd Clark took place Tuesday at St. Madeleine Sophie Church in Guilderland.
Clark was killed June 8 in Afghanistan in a green-on-blue attack. An Afghan officer who was in training with Clark turned on him with a gun. Clark's body was returned to Albany Monday.
During the emotional service some of Lt. Col Todd Clark's cousins spoke of him. They told patrons that whenever you see an American flag wave you will know Clark is still watching over you. It was a tough goodbye for many.
As a motorcade led Lt. Col Todd Clark to St. Madeleine Sophie Church the thought of a final goodbye was almost too much for those who knew him.
"It hurts," said Robert Loria with the Wounded Warrior Project.
"Profound sadness without a doubt," said former classmate, Michael Vandeloo.
Lt. Col Clark's parents, wife and two children look on as their fallen hero is honored. A fellow classmate of Clarks wants people to remember his positive spirit.
"Todd was just a great guy. Someone everyone got along with, looked up to," said Vandeloo.
For friends and family Tuesday was not about how he died but rather how he lived.
"Duty. His conviction. Courage. Family man. Happy man, happy man. He was doing what he wanted to do," said Peter Lounsbery of Clifton Park.
The sacrifice of the Purple Heart hero was also an important lesson for 1st graders at the St. Madeleine Sophie school who told their teacher they wanted to be there to show support for the Clark family.
"They understand and they know its important and we try to teach them a love for their country and so we wanted them to be here to see this," said St. Madeleine School teacher, Joanne Foster.
Lt. Col. Clark's final resting place will be at the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in Texas. Donations to the Clark Children Education Fund can be sent to the New Comer Cannon Funeral home on New Karner Road.