WEATHERFORD - Petty Officer 3rd Class Clayton Beauchamp of Weatherford was killed in action in Afghanistan by an improvised explosive device (IED) while on foot patrol Tuesday morning.
Beauchamp, 21, was three weeks into his first overseas tour, though he had been serving in the Navy since his graduation from Weatherford High School in 2009.
Beauchamp's father, Jack Beauchamp, said in a statement Thursday the family is distraught, but knew his son died doing what he wanted to do.
“We are trying to hold it together under the circumstances,” Jack Beauchamp said. “We’ll get through this. I can tell you that Clayton absolutely had no regrets. He believed in what he was doing and what he did."
Jack Beauchamp said his son planned to return to Weatherford and become a paramedic when he retired from his Navy career. Clayton's older brother, Christopher, is a six-year Navy veteran who was also serving in Afghanistan, though under a different command. Their younger sister is in the Navy Security Forces stationed in Virginia.
Christopher Beauchamp was temporarily released from duty to escort his brother's body to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.
Pam Freeman, Clayton’s former Weatherford High School counselor, said it was a "privilege" to be Clayton's councilor.
“He was kind to everyone and tried to help people every chance he got," Freeman said. "Clay’s presence made the world a better place. I will never forget this wonderful young man. He touched my heart and made it smile.”
Funeral services for Clayton will be held at North Side Baptist Church on North Main Street in Weatherford. Time and date of the services are to be announced.