Clay Patrick Farr
Specialist, United States Army
March 1, 2006
DoD Identifies Army Casualties
The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died in Baghdad, Iraq on February 26, 2006, when an improvised explosive device detonated near their HMMWV during patrol operations. Both soldiers were assigned to the 1st Squadron, 71st Cavalry, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division of Fort Drum, New York
Specialist Clay P. Farr, 21, of Bakersfield,
For further information related to this release, contact Army Public Affairs at (703) 692-2000.
28 February 2006:
A memorial service will be held this weekend to honor Specialist Clay Farr, who recently died in Iraq, and his family has invited the community to attend.
On Tuesday, the Farr family was planning the funeral and memorial services for their 21-year-old son who killed by a roadside bomb in Baghdad, Sunday.
It’s been an exhausting and emotional week for the family, and especially for Patrick Farr, who has been mourning the loss of his son.
He says Farr loved being a soldier, and working in special operations where he checked the landscape for danger before the other troops arrived.
He will treasure his son's two purple hearts, and now the bronze star.
“It was awarded to him for the final action in combat which he was killed in,” he said.
Six months ago, he and his son had a talk about the possibility of being killed in war.
Now, he is dealing with the enormous task of burying a son.
He is putting a memorial in Bakersfield, and burying his son at the Arlington Virginia National Cemetery.
Visitation will be on Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. PM at Hillcrest Memorial Park.
A memorial service will be held Saturday at Valley Baptist Church at 1 p.m., with a graveside service immediately following at Hillcrest Memorial.
His father says he's not sure when his son's body will arrive in Bakersfield, but when it does he will be planning the Arlington Virginia Funeral for his son.
3 March 2006:
The public is invited to take part in services for 21-year-old Specialist Clay Farr this weekend, who was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq last Sunday.
Specialist Farr will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
In Bakersfield, there will be a memorial service held Saturday at Valley Baptist Church at 1 p.m.
A graveside service will follow at Hillcrest
Memorial Park, where a casket filled with mementos will be buried next
to his fiancé, who died in a car crash two years ago.
6 March 2006
Two cavalry scouts stationed at Fort Drum were killed when an improvised explosive device or IED struck their vehicle during security patrol in Iraq.
Specialists Joshua U. Humble and Clay P. Farr were both members of A Troop, 1st Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, which is based at Fort Drum. The unit was deployed last August to support military operations in Baghdad.
Humble, 21, a native of Appleton, Maine joined the Army in January 2004 in Portland Maine, he finished his basic training in Fort Knox, Kentucky, and was assigned to the 10th Mountain Division in May of 2005.
Farr, also 21, was from Bakersfield, Calif. Like Humble, he joined the Army in January of 2004, and attended basic and advanced technical training at Fort Knox, Kentucky. In May of last year, Farr was assigned to the 10th Mountain ivision and was deployed in August 2005.
Both soldiers were awarded the Purple Heart, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal and the Combat Action Badge.
A third soldier from the same unit suffered shrapnel injuries in the attack.
Benjamin Abel, media relations officer at Fort
Drum, did not know the extent of the soldier’s wounds, he said, “I do not
believe that they [injuries] would be life threatening.”
For Soldier, Sense of Duty Took Root Early
By Arianne Aryanpur
Courtesy of the Washington Post
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Specialist Clay P. Farr decided early on what he wanted to do with his life. He would spend three years in the military, marry his high school sweetheart, then settle down as a sheriff's deputy.
But all that changed in 2004, when his fiancee, Sara Ransom, 16, died in a car accident.
Family members and friends said he never got over the loss. In a letter to his mother, he asked to be buried by her side were he to be killed in Iraq.
Farr, 21, of Bakersfield, California, died February 26, 2006, when a roadside bomb detonated near his Humvee during a patrol in Baghdad. Specialist Joshua U. Humble, 21, of Appleton, Maine, was also killed.
At a memorial service in California two weeks ago, an empty coffin filled with mementos honoring the determined young man was buried beside his fiancee.
"It's what they ultimately wanted," said Regina Ransom, Sara's mother. "They wanted to be together, and they are."
Yesterday, Farr's body was interred at Arlington National Cemetery. He was the 224th person killed supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom to be buried there.
About 50 family members and friends gathered as an Army chaplain delivered the sermon. Afterward, mourners placed bouquets of white roses and orchids beside Farr's coffin.
Farr is survived by his father and stepmother, Patrick and Silver Farr; his brother, Chad Farr; and his mother, Carrol Alderete.
Farr's mother said he was destined for the military. "We knew from an early age that he would be in the service," she said. "He was born with dog tags on."
In kindergarten, camouflage was his favorite color -- until his teacher told him it wasn't a color. In elementary school, he dressed as a soldier for Halloween with face paint from an Army supply store.
Farr also liked to ride BMX bikes and play paintball in the orchard behind his house, recalled friend Austin Brightwell. "We were always outdoors doing something," he said.
At Centennial High School in Bakersfield, Farr was studious and enrolled in a technical theater class. It was in that class he met Sara, whom he would later ask to be his wife.
"All we heard about was him," Regina Ransom said. "There was nobody else for her but Clay."
The two planned to marry after Sara graduated from college. Farr, who volunteered with the Kern County Sheriff's Explorer Unit, was planning a career as a sheriff's deputy. He had talked vaguely of joining the Army, but it wasn't until the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that he became serious about it.
"When he found out there was going to be a war, he realized there was something to be done, and he thought he was one of the people who should be doing it," Brightwell said.
Farr graduated from high school in 2003 and immediately enlisted in the Army as a cavalry scout. He was later assigned to the 1st Squadron, 71st Cavalry, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, at Fort Drum, N.Y. He volunteered for combat duty. His mother said his vehicle had been struck twice by roadside bombs before the attack that took his life.
Farr was a week from returning home on leave when he was killed. His tour of duty in Iraq would have ended in September, but friends and relatives said he was planning to reenlist because he didn't consider the job done.
"Clay loved what he was doing and loved where
he was," Brightwell said. "He said it was the most fun thing he'd ever
Army Specialist Clay Farr, 21, Bakersfield; Killed by Roadside Bomb in Baghdad: April 9, 2006
On the day he enlisted in the Army, Clay Farr volunteered to be a cavalry scout.
But his father urged him to "get a job in the back," where his chances for survival would be greater.
"He told me, 'I'm going to be in the action, Dad. I'm getting on the front line,' " Patrick Farr said.
Even as a youngster, Clay Farr seemed destined for the military life, his father said. In school, he liked to color everything in camouflage patterns.
"Clay was all Army from the time he was small," his father said, recalling a photograph of his then-4-year-old son wearing a camouflage ball cap at an air show. "That's when the Army got him."
The 21-year-old Bakersfield native enlisted after graduating from Centennial High School in 2003 and asked to go to Iraq.
On February 26, 2006, Farr was one of two soldiers killed when a roadside bomb exploded near their Humvee while they were on patrol in Baghdad. Also killed was Army Specislist Joshua U. Humble, 21, of Appleton, Maine. Both were assigned to the 1st Squadron, 71st Cavalry, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, New York.
Joining the Army was part of Farr's bigger plan: After the war, he was going to marry his high-school sweetheart and become a Kern County sheriff's deputy, his parents said.
In high school, Farr rode around Bakersfield in boots and camouflage dungarees as he and his friends scouted areas such as the almond orchard across from their high school to play paintball or jump their BMX bikes, said one of his best friends, Jared Russell, 20.
Farr also joined the Explorer Scouts and rode along with sheriff's deputies nearly every weekend, preferring to patrol the city's east side because "that's where the action is," Russell said.
After graduation, he worked as a security guard at a hospital and shopping mall.
On the day before boot camp, Farr reunited with his mother, Carrol Alderete. He insisted that she meet his fiancee, Sara Ransom, 16.
Three weeks later, Sara was killed in a car accident.
"Clay was totally in love," Alderete said. "It was just like a fairy tale."
Farr returned home to bury his fiancee but didn't stay. He turned down the Army's offer to take a few months off before returning to boot camp. He told his mother, "It was part of our plan, and I'm just going to stick with it," she said.
In an April 2004 letter, Farr promised Alderete that he would be careful. "Mom, you have a no-fear son, but I know when I've gone too far, and I'll stop before I get hurt," he wrote.
His father said he had a bad feeling. His son's Humvee had been hit by roadside bombs twice in two weeks. Farr was not injured the first time, but was hospitalized with a concussion a week later, on Feb. 19, his 21st birthday.
Despite those close calls, Farr told his father that he had decided to reenlist.
"He said, 'Well, my job's not done here, Dad, and I can't leave because if we don't finish this thing over here….' He guaranteed me that those insurgents would be in our backyards,' " Patrick Farr said.
If Clay Farr was not scared for his safety, his father was. "After the second bomb hit, I told my wife something's wrong," Patrick Farr recalled. "I said we need to prepare ourselves, something is about to happen."
A week later, his son was killed. Alderete said she has been told since her son's death that he usually drove the Humvee but was not behind the wheel Feb. 26 because of his head injury. The driver survived, she said.
Farr was awarded two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star. He was buried March 14 at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
Next to Sara's grave in Bakersfield, Farr's father also buried a coffin filled with stuffed animals, clothes, photographs and other mementos from friends and family.
"I know he's in heaven," Alderete said. "I know he's with Sara."
In addition to his parents, Farr is survived
by a brother, Chad; his stepmother, Silver Farr; his stepfather, Anthony
Alderete; and two stepsisters, Amanda Cope and Taylor Alderete.
23 December 2011:
Clay Patrick Farr would've gotten a kick out of a street named after him.
A MESSAGE FROM GOD
By Silver Farr
Back when my son Clay got his learner's permit for his driver's license in 2002, I would always let him do the driving when ever we went somewhere together. I laughed at him the first time we were in a drive thru (Jack In The Box) and he realized he was going to have to place the order. He stammered through the long list of items for our order, but he made it through OK. Then there was one day that we were at our bank's drive through ATM. I handed him my ATM card, and told him my 'secret' PIN number ... 8321. He was VERY pleased that I had to 'disclose' my secret number, and was down right giddy! He told me that "Now that I have this number I CAN DO ANYTHING"! He was soooooo proud of himself!
Fast forward to
2008 ... My husband and I went to Arlington National Cemetery on our yearly
pilgrimage to place flowers on our precious son's grave. After having
spent several hours there tearfully remembering our youngest child, we
prepared to leave. For some reason I was compelled to walk
around the back of his headstone and see what number had been assigned
to him. When I saw the number, I nearly fainted. There, etched
in the cold marble stone, was the number he had been so very proud of having!
8321! I couldn't even speak ... my eyes filled with tears and I showed
the number to my husband. We knew right then and there, that this
was a message from GOD AND Clay. He was letting us know that he was
truly in the most glorious place, and that now he could do ANYTHING!
I have had the same PIN number for the same account every since 1984 ...
before he was even born. There is no way in the world, that I will
ever doubt that there IS going to be a day when we will be reunited with
our precious heroes.
FARR, CLAY PATRICK
SPC US ARMY
DATE OF BIRTH: 02/19/1985
DATE OF DEATH: 02/26/2006
BURIED AT: SECTION 60 SITE 8321
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
Posted: 4 March 2006 Updated: 16 March 2006 Updated: 9 April 2006 Updated: 30 April 2006 Updated: 30 April 2010 Updated: 12 February 2011 Updated: 8 July 2011 Updated: 27 March 2012
Photo By M. R. Patterson, 4 July 2011
Photo By M. R. Patterson, February 2011
2010 Rose Event Photo By M. R. Patterson
Photo & Flower Courtesy of Holly, April 2006