News: Facility named after fallen EOD Marine
Story by Cpl. Kenneth Jasik
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – Marines with 1st Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, 7th Engineer Support Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 1, 1st Marine Logistics Group, dedicated a new EOD facility here, May, 26, in honor of the first Marine EOD technician killed in the war on terror.
Gunnery Sgt. Michael J. Clark was killed in action while in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom July 20, 2004. The company commander of 1st EOD Company, Maj. James N. Shelstad, said it was a fitting tribute to the Marine who once served in 1st Force Service Support Group,known today as 1st Marine Logistics Group.
“Gunny Clark was the first EOD tech killed in Iraq in 2004,” said Shelstad, who worked with Clark from 2002-2004. “We’ve had numerous since then. We thought it was just fitting, [since] he came from 1st EOD Company.”
When Clark died, he was a member of 1st EOD Platoon, a unit that has grown into a company due to the importance of EOD technicians’ job of neutralizing the threat of improvised explosive devices.
At the ceremony were Clark’s widow Sara Clark, and their two daughters, who helped unveil the new Gunnery Sgt. Michael J. Clark Explosive Ordnance Disposal Facility.
“Having this building named after Mike was such an honor,” said Sara, 38, from Bellingham, Wash. “It couldn’t have made us any happier.”
The new EOD facility is a vast improvement from the old one, said Shelstad. It has more than 10 times the space as the old EOD building and features rooms for each team to perfect their tactics, techniques and procedures used to neutralize any explosive threat.
The new building will help Marines in one of the most dangerous occupations perfect their skills, and Gunnery Sgt. Clark’s name out front will be an everyday reminder of those who have lost their lives protecting others.