SAN ANTONIO, TX, USA
SSG, HHC, 1ST BATTALION, 501ST INFANTRY, FORT RICHARDSON, AK
DILA DISTRICT, AFGHANISTAN 08/18/2009
Army Staff Sergeant Clayton Patrick Bowen was from San Antonio, Texas. He was a graduate of Churchill High School in San Antonio.
He joined the Army when he was 17 and served as a drill sergeant and a shooting instructor before he was deployed to Afghanistan.
He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Airborne Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Fort Richardson, Alaska.
About one month before an improvised explosive device ended his life, Clayton offered his fellow soldiers at a remote Afghanistan outpost a parcel that made their jaws drop. Addressed to him, the package contained a collection of heavy-duty construction tools the soldiers later would use to improve living conditions at the crude desert outpost, where plywood huts serve as sleeping quarters. “I’ve got connections,” Bowen, 29, explained.
Earlier, the 12-year Army veteran had asked his stepfather and mother, who publish a construction industry newspaper, to print an ad asking for donations. The tools had poured in, according to Buddy and Reesa Doebbler.
“He wanted to see if there was anything he could bring into the outpost to make their lives a little more normal,” said his mother.
This act of generosity was one of the last in a history of such displays, relatives said.
Clayton was killed in action on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2009, in Paktika Province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle.
He was providing security for Afghanistan’s presidential election. “They were trying to keep the peace,” said his mother.
Clayton received 10 medals and a Purple Heart during his time in service.