Kansas National Guard Soldiers Added To DIA Memorial

By: WIBW (Posted by Melissa Brunner)
By: WIBW (Posted by Melissa Brunner)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WIBW) - Two Kansas National Guard soldiers were honored as heroes at a ceremony Thursday in Washington.

Sgt. Don Clary of Troy and Sgt. 1st Class Clinton Wisdom of Atchison were killed in Baghdad Nov. 8, 2004. Thursday, their's were among four names added to the Defense Intelligence Agency's Patriots Memorial.

The memorial honors those who made profound sacrifices on behalf of DIA employees.

Wisdom and Clary were part of a security detail for a convoy that included the head of the Iraq Security Group and several DIA analysts. When an insurgent vehicle tried to attack the convoy, the soldiers repeatedly positioned their vehicle in its path. The insurgents eventually blew up their vehicle with a suicide bomb.

Wisdom and Clary died in the explosion, but no one in the group they were protecting was seriously harmed.

The other two soldiers honored Thursday were Sgt. Sherwood Baker of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard and Sgt. Lawrence Roukey, a U.S. Army Reservist from Maine.

Complete news release from the Defense Intelligence Agency:

The dictionary defines a hero as someone of distinguished courage and ability, admired for brave deeds and noble qualities. Children often look to sports figures, movie stars and other entertainment personalities as heroes; however, a real hero is born when an ordinary person, put into extreme circumstances, makes a selfless choice and performs an extraordinary act that benefits those around them, often at the expense of their own lives.

It is because of these same qualities and actions that DIA will add four names to its Patriots Memorial Nov. 7: Sgt. Sherwood Baker, Pennsylvania Army National Guard (ARNG); Sgt. Don Clary, Kansas ARNG; Sgt. Lawrence Roukey, U.S. Army Reserve and Sgt. 1st Class Clinton Wisdom, Kansas ARNG. The ceremony will take place at DIA Headquarters and will be attended by family and colleagues of these fallen heroes.

Baker and Roukey were killed April 26, 2004, in Baghdad during Operation Iraqi Freedom, while serving as members of an Iraq Survey Group (ISG) mobile collection team that was conducting a critical field inspection in an anti-coalition forces area. Under dangerous environmental conditions, Baker and Roukey provided security for ISG personnel charged with inspecting a suspected chemical, biological and nuclear weapons facility. Both soldiers died when a massive explosion occurred at the facility being inspected.

Clary and Wisdom were killed Nov. 8, 2004, in Baghdad during Operation Iraqi Freedom, while serving as members of a personal security detail for a convoy that included the head of the ISG and several DIA analysts. When a vehicle driven by insurgents charged the convoy, Clary and Wisdom repeatedly positioned their vehicle in between the ISG chief’s car and the approaching one. Both soldiers were killed when the suicide bomber detonated his vehicle-born improvised explosive device. Because of their actions, none of the members of the ISG were seriously harmed.

DIA’s Patriots Memorial commemorates the profound individual sacrifices made on behalf of the United States by agency employees and those supporting DIA. Located at DIA Headquarters, the memorial currently honors 21 employees who died in service to the United States. DIA Director Lt. Gen. Leonard Perroots dedicated the original memorial in 1988. In March 2009, the memorial was redesigned and moved to a new prominent location near the Headquarters entrance.

Sergeant First Class Clinton L. Wisdom, U.S. Army National Guard
Battery B, 2nd Battalion, 130th Field Artillery, Kansas Army National Guard
August 17, 1965 – November 8, 2004

Sergeant Donald A. Clary, U. S. Army National Guard
Battery B, 2nd Battalion, 130th Field Artillery, Kansas Army National Guard
December 31, 1982 – November 8, 2004

Sergeant Sherwood R. Baker, U. S. Army National Guard
Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion, 109th Field Artillery, Pennsylvania Army National Guard
October 5, 1973 - April 26, 2004

Sergeant Lawrence A. Roukey, U.S. Army Reserve
Detachment 1, 3rd Battalion, 304th Regiment, 98th Division, Army Reserve, Lewiston, Maine
April 4, 1971 - April 26, 2004


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