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  Boy from Little Rock chooses military path
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Last EditedArmyDem  Nov 16, 2003 01:55pm
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MediaNewspaper - Boston Globe
News DateSunday, November 16, 2003 06:00:00 AM UTC0:0
Description[First in a two part series profiling Wes Clark, detailing his early years and Vietnam]

Wesley K. Clark lay bleeding on the ground as the landscape around him echoed with the high-pitched ping-ping-ping of gunfire. It was Feb. 19, 1970, and the young Army captain had been on patrol near Saigon when he paused to peer down a trail that disappeared into the jungle.

In an instant, a hellish hail of fire from AK-47s exploded all around. Clark saw blood oozing from his body.

"They're in there!" Clark shouted to a couple of soldiers at his side.

"Get down, sir!" responded one of the soldiers, sniper Michael McClintic, who vividly recalls the moment. Pushing Clark to the ground -- and probably saving his life -- the Army sniper sprayed the jungle with covering fire. Clark said he called for backup and ordered nearby soldiers to set up a base of responding machine gun fire.

The 25-year-old Clark had waited years for a chance to engage the enemy, and now he was out of the fight from nearly the start.
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