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K-State Today

September 17, 2014

Brothers honor father with scholarship

Submitted by Marisa Larson

Charles Eldon Clark taught his sons, Gary and Marvin, to serve their country and pay forward the help they receive from others. The Clark brothers learned those lessons well. Both served in the U.S. Air Force for a combined 53 years, each retiring at the rank of colonel, and now they've established a scholarship at Kansas State University in honor of their father.

The Clark Family Air Force ROTC Scholarship will be awarded to an undergraduate majoring in any curriculum and participating in the Air Force ROTC program at K-State.

Eldon Clark began studying at K-State in 1938, but was drafted into the Army midway through his senior year to serve in World War II. After being injured in the war and discharged by the Army, Eldon Clark returned to K-State to finish his degree. He graduated in 1945, one of the first students to graduate from K-State under the G.I. Bill. After graduation, he farmed, raised cattle and instilled in his family a love of country and K-State.

Gary and Marvin Clark both attended K-State and were commissioned into the Air Force through the Air Force ROTC program, where they made lasting friendships and began challenging and rewarding careers in the Air Force. The brothers attended K-State during the beginning of the Vietnam War, both serving a tour of duty after graduation. Gary and Marvin Clark each received scholarships, which helped them get through college, graduate and become commissioned officers in the Air Force.

"Dad opined that some day we might be in a position to provide financial assistance to some deserving student," Gary Clark said. "Fortunately, that day came. We didn't forget what Dad had said."

"The values that I learned both growing up on a farm and attending K-State prepared me for the challenges of life," Marvin Clark said. "My hope is that our small contribution will help develop the future leaders the Air Force and our nation need."