ROCHESTER, NY (WHAM News) - The body of a U.S. Army nurse who died in Afghanistan during a Skype video chat with his wife is now home in western New York.
At 10 a.m. Saturday, a small plane carrying Captain Bruce Kevin Clark's casket landed on the tarmac at the Greater Rochester International Airport. There, his wife and daughters were waiting for him, along with hundreds of others who wished to play their respects.
At least 200 Patriot Guard Riders led the procession from the airport to Spencerport.
Clark and his family lived in Spencerport, his wife's hometown, from 2000 to 2006 while he was getting his nursing degree from SUNY Brockport. Clark joined the Army in 2006, and the family moved away.
Clark was raised in Michigan, but to the Spencerport community, he is one of their own.
"Anyone being in the military, my thought on that is that they are a hometown hero," said Joe Laucht, the commander of Spencerport American Legion Post 330. “I believe that any veteran serving is due this honor and welcome home, especially since he gave the ultimate sacrifice. He gave his life."
People held flags and lined the street going into Spencerport. Many gave the captain one last salute.
"Our hearts go out to the family and the community as a whole," said Spencerport Deputy Mayor Ted Rauber. "It's important to get some closure and to understand just exactly what happened to Captain Clark."
Military investigators said Clark's wife, Susan Orellana-Clark, was having a conversation on Skype with her husband from her Texas home on April 30. She watched him collapse.
The family initially believed they saw a bullet hole in the closet behind Clark when he collapsed. Army investigators determined Clark was not shot, and do not suspect foul play led to his death. His cause of death remains under investigation.
Calling hours will be Monday, followed by a funeral Tuesday in Spencerport.
Clark was assigned to the medical center in El Paso and was deployed in March.