WEATHERFORD (CBSDFW.COM) - When Navy officers appeared at his doorstep, Tuesday, Jack Beauchamp, of Weatherford, knew what it meant. He had lost a child.
“That was our biggest fear,” Beauchamp said. “But we didn’t know which child. “
A father of five, Beauchamp had seen two sons and a daughter enter the US Navy.
27-year-old Christopher had been the first to join and was in Afghanistan wrapping up his third tour of duty. The latest recruit, 18-year-old Cheyenne, was stationed in Virginia. It was 21-year-old Clayton, though, who had died.
“We never imagined it would… this would happen… Clayton’s gotten into so many little pickles and he always comes out laughing,” said his father.
A hidden explosive had killed the sailor, just one month into his first trip to Afghanistan – a mission he’d volunteered for.
“Clayton had told me on numerous occasions, ‘Dad, it’s just something I have to do’,” said Beauchamp.
“It was devastating. I didn’t expect it at all,” said his brother Christopher.
At his own post overseas, Christopher received the news of his brother’s death and struggled to cope.
“Just feeling partially responsible, thinking maybe if I hadn’t joined the navy, he wouldn’t be here,” he said.
When giving the opportunity to escort his brother’s body home, Christopher didn’t hesitate.
“It was something I need to do. I needed to bring him home,” he said.
Now back in Weatherford, the family has set up a scholarship fund in his name, vowing to keep his memory alive.