FILED IN: Tragic Endings

Army nurse dies in Afghanistan during Skype chat with wife

A woman witnessed the death of her husband, an Army nurse serving in Afghanistan, during a video chat via Skype, the family said Friday. Pentagon officials said the death of Beaumont Army Medical Center Capt. Bruce Kevin Clark was under investigation so no details were immediately available.

The El Paso Times quoted Beaumont spokesman Clarence Davis as saying that Clark’s  death “wasn’t a result of hostile action…He was not wounded.”

Clark’s brother-in-law, Bradley Taber-Thomas, said, “We are entrusting the military with investigating and with finding out what happened to Capt. Clark,” .

Clark, 43, was a chief nurse who had joined the army in 2006 and was deployed to Afghanistan in March of 2012. He grew up in Michigan and lived previously in New York state near his wife’s hometown.

The family released a statement saying that Clark died Monday while talking to his wife (who was in El Paso) during a regular Skype session. Clark was in Tarin Kowt in southern Afghanistan.

A family statement raised some questions about Clark’s death. It stated, “At the time of the incident, the family was hoping for a rescue and miracle, but later learned that it was not to be…Although the circumstances were unimaginable, Bruce’s wife and extended family will be forever thankful that he and his wife were together in his last moments.”

A funeral is planned in Spencerport, New York, where Clark and Susan Orellana-Clark, his wife, moved in 2000. He had worked for about four years at Highland Hospital in Rochester, N.Y., as an operating-room assistant and later as an operating-room technician. Before going to work at the hospital, Clark was an emergency medical technician. He had gone on to earn his nursing degree before joinging the army in 2006. His plans included becoming a certified registered nurse anesthetist, a coworker said.

Clark had received a number of awards and decorations for his military service and he is survived by his wife and two daughters, ages 3 and 9.