Port Henry Nearly half of Courtney Clark’s life, her father has been in war zones with the U.S. Army.
“It’s hard,” the 13-year-old Moriah Central School student said. “I miss my father; I wish he was home.”
Herb Clark, a Witherbee native, is a sergeant with the 425th Field Artillery, Third Brigade stationed at Fort Drum. He’s now serving in Afghanistan — his sixth tour in a combat zone. He’s in his fourth year in Afghanistan after a year each in Bosnia and Kosovo.
“This is a man who has placed himself in harm’s way over and over for us,” said Keith Ashline of Rouses Point, commander of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association Chapter 19-3. “He’s made tremendous sacrifices — and so has his family. Those are six years he’ll never get back with his family.”
To honor that sacrifice, the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association decided to give Courtney a helping hand Jan. 10.
Courtney is a member of the Moriah Central School girls choir, which has been selected to perform this spring at Disney World in Florida. Members of the group have been raising money to make the trip.
Carrie Tromblee of Moriah, a member of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association auxiliary, is a family friend who learned about the trip from Courtney’s mother, Jolene.
“Times are tough for everyone, especially the families of our servicemen overseas,” Tromblee said. “Herb is not only a vet, he’s a great guy. When I told everyone about his situation they were excited to help out. It’s a privilege.”
The Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association Chapter 19-3 contributed $850 for Courtney’s Disney adventure. The Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association Chapter 19-2 of Fort Drum donated $350 and the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association Chapter 26-2 of Vermont gave $250.
Courtney, a junior varsity cheerleader at Moriah, was surprised when Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association representatives appeared during halftime of a recent game to present her with the money.