Article about the candlelight vigil held at the Sparks Marina:
"That day on Monday was terrifying," said David Clark, a Social Studies teacher at Sparks Middle School. "It was a terrifying day, and Mike was out there, and he breached the walls of fear and terror. He bravely approached danger calmly and lovingly, and laid down his life for his friends."
It was also a time for the teachers to reminisce about their dear friend.
"I spoke to Mike just moments before he was killed," Clark said. "He was so excited to attend his daughter, Andrea's graduation from Naval Basic Training later in the week. He asked my advice on what uniform to wear. First, he said, 'Mr. Clark, I got a problem...' I said, 'what's that?' He said, 'my daughter doesn't want me to wear my uniform.' I said, 'you're kidding.' He said, 'no, she said, 'you're going to embarrass me, dad, because you're Air Force, and we only want Navy here.' *crowd laughs* 'I said, 'Mike, you're going to wear your uniform, and they're going to be your Class A's and you're going to dress up. You're a Master Sergeant, and you're going to be proud of the Air Force!' He walked out the door and said, 'outstanding!' He looked at me and said to me like he did every single morning -- 'the coffee is ready.'"
"The first time I ever spoke to Mike, he said he wanted to make a difference in kids' lives," said Ben Tucker, a Sparks Middle School Math teacher. "In the eight years I've known him, he has made a difference in thousands of kids' lives."
I had worked with both Clark and Tucker during my time at the school during 2005-2007.