KIA February 26, 2006
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Assigned to 1st Squadron, 71st Cavalry, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, New York
SPC Clay Farr was killed February 26, 2006 from injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated near his vehicle while conducting patrol operations in Baghdad, Iraq. Also killed in the blast was SPC Joshua U. Humble.
Even as a youngster Clay Farr seemed destined for the military. “Clay was all Army from the time he was small,” said his father, Patrick Farr, while 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.” In high school, Clay rode around his hometown of Bakersfield, California in boots and camouflage dungarees as he and his friends scouted areas such as the almond orchard across from their school to play paintball or jump their BMX bikes. He 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,” said Clay’s best friend, Jared Russell.
In January 2004 Clay joined the Army. However, joining the Army was only part of his much bigger plan. After the war he planned to marry his high school sweetheart, Sara Ransom, and become a Kern County sheriff’s deputy. On the day before leaving for boot camp, Clay reunited with his mother, Carrol Alderete, insisting that she meet Sara, his fiancée. Just three weeks later Sara was killed in a car accident. The Army offered for Clay to take a few months off before returning to boot camp, but Clay refused. He told his mother, “It was part of our plan, and I’m just going to stick with it.” In August 2004, Clay was deployed to Iraq.
In a letter home Clay promised his mother 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. On the contrary, his father said he had had a bad feeling. His son’s vehicle had been hit by roadside bombs twice in two weeks. And despite those close calls, Clay told his father that he had decided to re-enlist. A week later, his son was killed. SPC Farr’s military decorations include two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star.
SPC Clay Farr was 21 years old from Bakersfield, California.
Original portrait was presented August 24, 2015 to Clay’s family during a private event hosted by the Cupertino Veterans Memorial in Cupertino, CA