‘Pray for my buddy that died’: Reaction to Fort Gordon tragedy

Published: Jul. 21, 2022 at 4:49 PM EDT
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FORT GORDON, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - We’re starting to get more details about a lightning strike that killed one soldier and injured nine at Fort Gordon.

Much of what we’re learning is from social media posts by those affected by Wednesday morning’s incident.

One of his fellow soldiers posted on Facebook: “One of the absolute best sergeants I ever had the honor of serving with.” - “There is one less superhero in the world.”

His Army Reserve Command, Maj. Stephen Rhinehart said: “This especially hurts because not only was Sgt. 1st Class Clark one of my soldiers, but he was my friend and brother. Our prayers are with his family.”

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One soldier posted that the unit was training in a tent when the soldier heard a loud boom and saw a blast.

“I was struck by lightning and knocked unconscious,” said the soldier, who reported suffering third-degree burns and said they would need surgery.

“Please pray for my buddy that passed away,” the soldier wrote.

One spouse posted on social media that his wife was one of those injured. He said she suffered “life-threatening injuries to include really bad burns.” He said she would be undergoing surgery Thursday.

The husband said he was flying home from Iraq to see his injured wife.

The husband said his wife’s unit was undergoing annual training when the incident happened.

The father of one of the injured soldiers said Thursday afternoon that his daughter had been in surgery for hours.

Reaction from leaders

Gov. Brian Kemp: “Marty, the girls, and I are praying for the family of this soldier and for those also hurt by this unfortunate lightning strike. As we hope for their recovery, we ask our fellow Georgians to join us in mourning the loss of their fellow servicemember.”

Rep. Rick Allen: “We are praying for those injured in the lightning strike at Fort Gordon yesterday. This is a heartbreaking story and our hearts are with the victims and their families.”

Rep. Jody Hice: “My wife, Dee Dee, and I were shocked and heartbroken to learn of the soldier stationed at Fort Gordon who passed after being tragically struck by lightning, which also injured nine others. Please join us in praying for the soldiers and their families and for the protection of our brave men and women in uniform, serving through their day-to-day tasks and missions overseas. May God bless and keep them as they serve and defend our great nation.”

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