FT. SILL, Okla. — Chief Warrant Officer 2 Karen D. Beattie and her husband, Sgt. 1st Class Clifford Beattie, were both sent to Iraq with the 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division. After a roadside bomb ripped through her husband’s truck, he and another soldier were dead.
She learned the devastating news almost immediately and Beattie was suddenly a widow at Camp Liberty in Baghdad. She had to wait for the Army to officially notify next of kin before she could contact her mother for comfort
Beattie struggled with her grief that nearly forced her to leave the Army after 12 years. Instead of letting her grief overwhelm her, she used that experience to play a prominent role in helping other Gold Star families.
For her work with Gold Star families, her volunteer efforts with Fort Sill’s Survivor Outreach Services, and her continued dedication to the Army, Beattie is the 2013 Army Times Soldier of the Year.