Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Clay Dunn laid to rest

SAN BERNARDINO - Family and friends said their goodbyes Sunday night to Army Sgt. Clayton G. Dunn II during funeral services for the fallen soldier at Preciado Funeral Home.

Dunn was killed May 26 while serving in Iraq. He was 22.

Pictures of the young man with his family and friends - tender moments embracing his wife, Haidy Dunn, and holding his infant daughter, Grace, - played continuously above the flag-draped coffin throughout the services.

"He touched a lot of people," said his father, Roy Dunn of Moreno Valley. "This is about his life and the remembrance of his life."

Dunn said he was proud of his son's leadership skills because he "led by example."

Sgt. Dunn died with two other paratroopers in the blast from an improvised explosive device triggered as they patrolled in Iraq's Salah ad Din province.

Spc. Michael J. Jaurigue, 20, of Texas City, Texas, and Spc. Gregory N. Millard, 22, of San Diego were also killed.

The three were assigned to 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.

The Rialto High School graduate met his wife, Haidy, in high school. The couple wed in July 2004.

Dunn enlisted in the Army in 2003 and was deployed to Iraq in August 2006. He met his now 3-month-old daughter, Grace, for the first time in April.
During the service, Army officials presented the family with gold star lapel pins that were established by Congress at the conclusion of World War II to recognize the families of those who died in service to their country.

Clayton, or "Clay," as his friends and family called him, was proud to serve in the military.

"He was the type of person who would stand on the fence with a rifle so everyone else could sleep in safety," Roy Dunn said. "He enjoyed life to the fullest, and at the same time, he protected it."

Dunn's brother-in-law, Mike Esparza, who had been friends with Dunn since high school, described him as dedicated, heroic and family-oriented.

"If you were going to have someone beside you - you'd want it to be him," Esparza said. "He was someone we'd aspire to be like."

Luis Puebla, another longtime friend of Dunn's, called him a "shining example of a great young man."

"He had focus, discipline and direction, which a lot of people our age seem to lack," Puebla said.

Dunn is survived by his wife, Haidy Dunn of San Bernardino; his daughter, Grace Dunn; and his parents, Roy and Aminta Dunn of Moreno Valley.

From the Daily Bulletin

Related Link:
Clayton Dunn remembered

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Clayton G. Dunn dies 'of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle'