|Birth: ||Apr. 18, 1982|
|Death: ||Mar. 31, 2011|
Clay Warren Hunt, a war hero and giant-hearted humanitarian, died in Houston, Texas on Thursday, the 31st of March 2011, at the age of 28.
He was an adventurer who experienced more, and gave back more to his country and his fellow man, than most men accomplish in a full lifetime.
Clay grew up in Houston attending Spring Branch Schools - Rummel Creek Elementary, Memorial Middle School, and was a proud graduate of Stratford High School. He was a solid second baseman from Tee-ball to Pony League, and an accomplished junior golfer. However, his real passion was football and his fifth grade team's win of the Tully Bowl gave him great joy. He also enjoyed playing for Stratford and "just being a part of a great group of guys" on the team during his senior season of 2001.
Clay received an Associate degree from Blinn College in College Station, and attended Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California.
Following his heart, Clay joined the United States Marine Corps in May of 2005, completed the School of Infantry in 2006, and shipped out to Iraq in January of 2007 as part of the Second Battalion, Seventh Regiment of the U.S.M.C. While on patrol in Anbar Province, near Fallujah, he was wounded in a sniper attack, earning a Purple Heart. Clay recuperated in 2007, and applied for and graduated from the Marine Corps Scout Sniper School in February of 2008.
His scout sniper teams shipped out to an area near Sangin, Afghanistan in March of 2008 as part of NATO's multi-national force deployed against the Taliban in southern Afghanistan. Clay's unit returned to the states in October of 2008, and he was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in April of 2009.
Clay cherished his time in the Marine Corps and the unconditional and absolute bonds of camaraderie that he built with his band of brothers in Iraq and Afghanistan. He often wondered why he survived when so many close friends and others paid the ultimate price for our nation's freedom.
Clay continued to give back to ease the suffering of others in January of 2010, when he and Marine brother Jake Wood and others founded Team Rubicon, an early response team for natural disaster relief. Clay and Team Rubicon entered Port-Au Prince, Haiti one week after that country's devastating earthquake, and immediately established field medical facilities, and secured transportation to those facilities for thousands of injured Haitians during a month-long stay in that ravaged country. Team Rubicon was on the ground saving lives long before the Red Cross and other institutional organizations were up and running. Clay found his true calling for service in the chaos of Haiti, and his warrior mentality along with his compassion for others were the perfect combination to deliver "hands-on" medical and other humanitarian aid to those so desparately in need.
Clay also went to Chile in 2010 with Team Rubicon to aid earthquake victims in that nation, and returned to Haiti in June of 2010 on a follow-up mission. He also "felt the pain and did something about it" of his fellow veterans by participating in four Ride2Recovery challenges to raise money for struggling wounded veterans across the U.S. Additionally, he helped lobby Congress on behalf of Iraq-Afghanistan Veterans of America for better and more timely delivery of benefits for our veterans of these two conflicts.
Clay had a smile that would light up a room, and his boundless energy was his greatest asset. No family could have had a better son.
Clay is survived by his mother, Susan Selke and her husband Richard, and father, Stacy Hunt and his wife Dianne, all of Houston; his maternal grandparents, Bill and Muriel Knotts of Huntsville; his sister, Allison Hamilton and her husband David of Houston; his beloved niece, Annabelle; his four step-sisters, Lindsay Akhtar and her husband Jehan of Dallas, Erin Moses and her husband Bobby of Houston, Amy Stephens and her husband David of Denver, and Lauren Hendrix of Austin; his step-brother, Stephen Hendrix and his wife Ricki of Houston. Clay was loved by his aunts, uncles and cousins, Cindy and Bill Knotts and their sons Brian, Brad and Blake of Colleyville, Marilyn and Rick Terrell, their son Ryan Terrell and his wife Brooke, and their daughter Meredith Bell and her husband Lance, all of Houston, and John and Janice Knots of Huntsville.
Clay was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Warren and Merlyne Hunt of Houston.
The family wishes to extend special thanks to Steve Cragg, Youth Minister of Memorial Drive United Methodist Church, Jake Wood and the other Marine brothers, all of whom remained steadfast in their efforts to help Clay overcome the grip of depression that finally overtook our beloved son. Clay knew Christ and is in a better place.
A memorial service celebrating Clay's life is to be conducted at eleven o'clock in the morning on Monday, the 4th of April, at Memorial Drive United Methodist Church, 12955 Memorial Drive in Houston.
Immediately following the Service, all are invited to greet the family during a reception in the adjacent Fellowship Hall.
In lieu of customary remembrances, the family requests with gratitude that memorial contributions in Clay's name be directed to Team Rubicon, Inc., P.O. Box 7476, Santa Monica, CA, 90406 (www.teamrubiconusa.org); or to Ride2Recovery, 23679 Calabasas Rd., #420, Calabasas, CA, 91302, (www.ride2recovery.com).
Published in Houston Chronicle from April 2 to April 3, 2011
Created by: Elaine
Record added: Apr 03, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 67820469