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Small arms fire killed Albany soldier

ALBANY, N.Y. - The Department of Defense on Tuesday released a few details about the death of Army Lt. Col. Todd Clark, whose body is expected to arrive at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Wednesday.

Clark, a 40-year-old officer from Albany, and Maj. Jaime E. Leonard, 39, of Warwick, Orange County, were struck by small arms fire Saturday in Zarghun Shahr, a district in Paktika Province in eastern Afghanistan, according to the DOD. They died nearby in Sharana, where the U.S. operates a base in the violence-prone province near Pakistan.

The two soldiers were working with a private military contractor named Joseph Morabito of Haines Falls, Greene County, to train Afghan security forces, according to family members. They were shot by an Afghan in a National Army uniform who got into an argument with an American service member, according to published reports. Morabito, a 17-year Army veteran, also died in the attack.

Clark graduated from Christian Brothers Academy in 1990. He completed three tours of duty in Iraq and was in his second tour of Afghanistan. He and Leonard, a female graduate of West Point, were assigned to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division in Fort Drum.

Clark lived in Evans Mill near Fort Drum with his wife, Shelley, and two children. His body is scheduled to return to the U.S. at Dover at around 11:45 a.m. Wednesday, and could remain at the base for 7 to 10 days, his father, retired Army Col. Jack Clark said Tuesday.

The family is working on plans for a local service to honor Todd Clark. He graduated from Texas A&M University and will be buried in Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas, his father said.

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