McClatchy Alum Killed in Iraq to be Honored at Saturday’s ‘Bell Game’ Family, school to be presented with plaque from Fallen Warriors; scholarship established in Sgt. Duplantier’s name
November 3, 2011
With Veteran’s Day approaching, a C.K. McClatchy High School alumnus killed in Iraq will be honored on Saturday with the announcement of a scholarship in his name.
Sgt. Arnold Duplantier II was killed by sniper fire while on patrol in Baghdad on June 22, 2005 – just days after his 26th birthday. Sgt. Duplantier had previously served in Kuwait in 2002. He left behind a wife, two children and his mother and father.
His service to his country will be honored at approximately 12:30 p.m. on Saturday (November 5) during a ceremony prior to the kickoff of the McClatchy-Sacramento Charter High “Bell Game,” which will be played in his memory. The ceremony will take place on the football field, directly behind the school. McClatchy is located at 3066 Freeport Blvd.
At the ceremony, John Cordova, who co-founded Fallen Warriors with Adrian Garcia, will present Principal Peter Lambert with a brass plaque to be displayed in McClatchy’s trophy case.
Cordova will also announce the establishment of a $1,000 scholarship in Sgt. Duplantier’s name. Members of Sgt. Duplantier’s family will be escorted to the game by the school’s Air Force ROTC color guard. The marching band will play both “Taps” and the National Anthem.
Sgt. Duplantier joined the California National Guard in 1999 after leaving McClatchy and earning a general equivalency diploma. He was assigned to the Auburn-based Charlie “Rock” company. He is the company’s only “killed-in-action” loss during its activation to Iraq, which began in 2004. On the Fallen Heroes Memorial website, fellow soldiers recall Sgt. Duplantier’s sense of humor and his fondness for distributing toys to Iraqi children.
The Bell Game has been played annually since McClatchy opened in 1937. The winning team is entitled to keep a brass bell at their school for a year. Sacramento Charter has had the bell since 2009.
Gabe Ross joined the Sacramento City Unified School District as Chief Communications Officer in March, 2010. In addition to serving as the primary spokesperson for the 12th largest school district in the state of California, Gabe oversees all public and media relations and provides counsel to district and school leadership on strategic messaging and both internal and external communications.