Paul Barclay – Staff Sergeant, United States Army

From a contemporary press report: April 19, 1994

There was nothing particularly special about Paul Barclay's young life in Oxford: He went to church, played the drums, struggled with school. But when he died last week in one of two helicopters shot down by friendly fire over northern Iraq, he was among the elite troops of the U.S. military.

By age 24, was a staff sergeant in the Special Forces, also known as the Green Berets. It was what he had always wanted, said his wife of nearly 2 years, Melissa Barclay, 25. “He was 150-percent military,” she said. “If for some freak reason he came back from this today, he'd go back again tomorrow. That's what he was.”

Paul Barclay, who joined the Army in 1988 after he obtained his general equivalency diploma, had been assigned since 1993 to 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) based at Ft Devens, Massachusetts. That unit was sent to Turkey this month. Along with Barclay, Army Sergeant First Class Benjamin Hodge, 32, of Muskegon, was among the 26 soldiers and diplomats killed. Barclay dropped out of Oxford High School in his junior year.

Besides his wife, Barclay is survived by 2 children, his parents and a sister. Service for Barclay will be at Fort Devens on Thursday, and Melissa Barclay said the family was making arrangements to have him buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Contributions to a memorial fund may be sent to: Special Forces Assn, Charles E. Hosking Chapter IV, Box 607, Ayer, Massachusetts 01432-0607.

Hodge, a native of Owosso who grew up in the Fairgrove and Muskegon areas, was assigned to Company A, 165th Military Intelligence Battalion, based in Darmstadt, Germany. He lived there with his wife, Brenda Hodge, said Sergeant Dawn Kilpatrick.

A service for Hodge is scheduled for 7:30 pm Monday at Sharp Funeral Home, 8138 Miller Road, Swartz Creek. Burial is to be in Arlington National Cemetery.  Hodge's family suggests contributions to the Swartz Creek Assembly of God Church Building Fund, in care of the funeral home, Swartz Creek 48473.


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