Visitation, funeral set for Export Army sergeant killed in Afghanistan
As the remains of Export native Army Sgt. Jason Mitchell McClary were escorted from Coraopolis to the Jobe Funeral Home on Wednesday night, emergency responders from Murrysville and Monroeville lined Haymaker Road and Old William Penn Highway to salute the procession.
Members of the Patriot Guard Riders of Pennsylvania served as an escort, and reached out to Murrysville firefighter Eric Friend.
“We contacted Monroeville and guys from Monroeville (companies) 4 and 5 came up as well,” Friend said.
Funeral services for Sgt. McClary are set for Tuesday at a Murrysville church.
McClary, 24, died Dec. 2 at a base in Germany from injuries he suffered five days earlier when an improvised explosive device detonated in Afghanistan.
Visitation will be held Monday 1 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. at Cornerstone Ministries just off of Route 22. Funeral services will begin Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. at the church. McClary will be buried at National Cemetery of the Alleghenies in Cecil Township, Washington County.
As McClary’s body was returned to the area, his wife, Lillie McClary, posted a photo of his flag-draped casket coming off of an airplane on her Facebook page and welcomed her husband home.
The couple has two sons, Jett, 3, and Jason James, 11 months.
McClary was determined to be a soldier. He was working as an up-armored vehicle gunner at the time of the blast, military officials said. He graduated from Kiski Area High School and Northern Westmoreland Career & Technology Center in New Kensington in 2013. He enlisted in January 2014.
In 2016, he was deployed to Iraq for seven months. McClary had been in Afghanistan since April. He had several military medals, including two Purple Hearts.
He was based out of Fort Carson, Colo., where he was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Jason McClary Memorial Fund, which will benefit his sons, at S&T Bank, 2388 Route 286, Pittsburgh, PA 15239. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Jobe Funeral Home and Crematory.
McClary was the second local soldier to be killed by the Nov. 27 roadside bomb in Ghazni province, an area where the Taliban is resurgent. A memorial service for Air Force Staff Sgt. Dylan Elchin, 25, of Hookstown, Beaver County, was held last week.
It was the deadliest attack against U.S. forces in Afghanistan this year, the Associated Press reported. The Taliban claimed responsibility.
Murrysville Volunteer Fire Company No. 1 Chief Brian Synan said saluting McClary’s procession is the least they can do.
“It’s been a long time since anyone local has been killed in action,” Synan said. “Anything we can do to support the troops, we’re happy to do.”
Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Renatta at 724-837-5374, email@example.com or via Twitter @byrenatta.