Saturday, February 24, 2007

Clarence Spencer laid to rest

A soldier buried her soldier husband Tuesday afternoon in a Tarrant County cemetery.

People Pvt. Clarence Spencer served with were drawn from all over the country to attend the funeral of the soldier who was killed during his fourth tour in Iraq.

His wife, Pvt. Charlotte Spencer, wept and her son embraced her as rifles were shot in the air in honor of her husband, who she had married just 34 days before he left on his last tour.

Pvt. Spencer was the 3,352nd American to die in the war. But before the grave, there was his life that was celebrated and honored Tuesday.

"Pvt. Spencer was a man who lived by the Corps values of honor, courage and commitment," said Sgt. Jay Picard, US Marine.

Sgt. 1st Class Don Harris called him "the epitome of what God put us here for."

"I know our hearts are heavy, but our dispositions are proud," he said.

Spencer's Junior ROTC leader from Dunbar High also spoke highly of the soldier, who was also an all-district football star.

"I've coached faster, stronger, more talented, but I've never coached anyone I was more proud of, ever," said Bob Jones, his high school football coach.

The same qualities that impressed his coaches and teachers also impressed fellow Marines and soldiers.

"His friends called him Spencer Fi, as a tribute to his Marine Corps, Semper Fidelis," said Brig. Gen. Will Grimsley, US Army. "But they said it was because he was always faithful about a bunch of things."

Spencer was a Marine first, and then joined the Army to be stationed in Texas closer to his daughter, his new bride and his mother.

His mom, Juanita Spencer Cole, said her son returned to Iraq even though she said war tormented his soul.

"He would jump in his sleep, and if I tried to wake him up he would be ready," Cole said. "I would say baby, it's just momma. It's just momma."

A brigadier general gave Charlotte Spencer the folded flag and Clarence's final three medals, which included a second Purple Heart.

From WFAA 8

Related Link:
Clarence Spencer remembered

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Clarence Spencer reported killed in Iraq