BAKERSFIELD, CA, USA U.S. Army SPC, TROOP A, 1ST SQUADRON, 71ST CAVALRY, 1ST BCT, 10TH MTN DIV, (4ID), FORT DRUM, NY BALAD, IRAQ 02/26/2006
Specialist Clay Farr, 21, of Bakersfield, Calif., died Sunday in Baghdad, according to the Defense Department.
The cavalry scout was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 71st Cavalry, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division. Clay joined the Army in January 2004 and deployed to Iraq in August, Fort Drum said in a statement.
Shortly after Farr enlisted, his 16-year-old fiancée was killed in a car accident. That didn’t stop him from delaying his training, his family said.
“He loved defending his country. He was very patriotic,” his father Patrick Farr told The Bakersfield Californian. “When the war first started, he was in high school. If I would have let him enlist at that age, and the Army would have taken him, he would have gone right then.”
Farr graduated in 2003 from Centennial High School in Bakersfield. Although he will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery, a casket of mementos will be buried next to his fiancee.
“He would not have been happy doing something behind the lines. He’s the type that wanted to be right out in the action,” his mother Carrol Alderete told the newspaper.
After completing basic training and then cavalry scout school, Clay was assigned to Fort Polk, LA, where he immediately volunteered for combat duty in Iraq.
However, the units at Fort Polk were not taking volunteers and Clay requested to be transferred to a base that was taking volunteers. He was then transferred to the 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, NY. Upon arrival there, Clay again volunteered for combat duty in Iraq. However, the 10th Mtn. Division was forming new units and Clay was not deployed to Iraq until August of 2005.
He was a fearless soldier. Clay’s goal after his service in the Army was to become a deputy in the Kern County Sheriff’s Department.
Clay was a member of the Kern County Sheriff’s Explorer’s Unit and had attained the rank of Senior Explorer while he was in High School. He loved to go on ride-along patrols with the Sheriff Deputies.