launches the corporal. Hunter Clark helped save baby in Kabul, Marines confirm


Almost exactly one year after the Marine Corps questioned whether Lance Cpl. Hunter Clark had helped rescue a baby at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, a Corps official confirmed to Task & Purpose that Clark had helped get the baby to safety.

This moment was captured in an August 19, 2021 video that went viral. The video shows six Marines standing over the airport wall as an Afghan man hands the baby to a Marine, who hoists the baby over the concertina wire.

On September 25, Clark appeared on stage with former President Donald Trump at a political rally, where he told the jubilant audience, “I’m the guy who pushed the baby over the wall, and that’s it. It’s definitely, probably, one of the greatest things I’ve ever done in my entire life.

But shortly after Task & Purpose published an article about Clark’s comments, Marine Corps officials questioned Clark’s involvement in the rescue and insisted that Clark was not the Marine. who took the baby from the Afghan, and they couldn’t confirm that. he was one of the other Marines seen in the video.

Because Corps officials were unable to provide more information about Clark at the time, Task & Purpose wrote a correction to its September 30 story saying that Clark was not the Marine holding the Afghan child in the viral video – in fact, Clark helped bring the baby to the accordion wire.

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Now, a Marine Corps official has confirmed that Clark was one of six Marines from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit who are seen in the video and that he actually helped another Marine lift the Afghan child par- over the wall.

An Instagram account for the 1st Battalion, 8th Marines recently posted a photo of the iconic moment that lists the names of all the Marines involved. Corporal Stayce Whipple, Staff Sergeant Craig Riggle, Captain Jonathan Yenny, Corporal Gregory Whalen, Gunnery Sergeant Zachary Kapinus and Clark.

The Marine official confirmed to Task & Purpose that the information in the Instagram post is correct, and Clark can be seen holding Kapinus, who is the Marine taking the baby from an Afghan. The video of the event clearly shows Kapinus handing the child over to Clark, who picks up the baby and helps push the child over the wall.

For the Marine Corps, it’s been a long walk since Sept. 30, when 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit spokesman Capt. Kelton Cochran told Task & Purpose that Clark “cannot be confirmed to be one of the Marines pulling a baby over the wall in this particular instance.”

Cochran also said Clark was not one of the Marines in the video that Corps officials had been able to identify so far.

“We only identified these two people: the ones who were actively pulling the child over the fence,” Cochran said. “We have not confirmed whether or not he was one of the Marines in this particular case shooting a baby.”

This isn’t the first time the Marine Corps has had to backtrack on earlier statements about an iconic image. On February 23, 1945, Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal captured the moment Marines raised the American flag on Iwo Jima’s Mount Suribachi.

The image quickly became one of the most famous images of World War II, but in 2016 the Marine Corps determined that one of six flag raisings was Marine Pfc. Harold Schultz and not Navy Corpsman John Bradley, whose son co-wrote the book “Flags of Our Fathers” about the event.

After appearing at Trump’s political rally, Clark was cleared to violate Department of Defense policies, which limit military political activities.

“The Inspector General of II Marine Expeditionary Force has concluded an investigation into the facts and circumstances surrounding Lance Cpl. Hunter Clark’s appearance at a Sept. 25 event in Georgia,” the Corps spokesperson said. of Marines, Maj. James Stenger, at Task & Purpose Nov. 4. Action must be taken in this case.

Thanks to the bravery shown by Clark and the approximately 6,000 other American servicemen who carried out the evacuation of Kabul in August 2021, more than 124,000 people were able to escape from the Taliban.

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