CLARK, Philippines — Walking along the rows of tombstones at the former U.S. Clark Air Base in the Philippines offers a glimpse of the wars America has fought and the men and women who waged them. But most of the grave markers have been half-buried for 20 years, and there is little hope that the volcanic ash obscuring names, dates and epitaphs will be cleared any time soon.
Clark Veterans Cemetery was consigned to oblivion in 1991, when Mount Pinatubo's eruption forced the U.S. to abandon the base. Retired U.S. troops volunteer to keep watch, relying on donations to try to maintain the grounds. They lament they're helplessly short on funds to fix things, and that Washington is unwilling to help.
Veteran Robert Chesko calls it a cemetery that America forgot.