June 24
2004



Pfc. Daniel McClenney, USMC

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Pfc. Daniel B. McClenney, 19, of Shelbyville, Tennessee died June 24 from hostile fire near Bari Khout, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Bedford County Arts Council ~~ A native of Bedford County, Pfc. McClenney was the son of the late Veda Smith McClenny and Randy McClenney of Shelbyville. He was assigned to th 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. He deployed in early May of this year 2004. He was a 2003 graduate of Shelbyville Central High School, and worked for the Bedford County Co-op during and after school. He was a member of Flat Creek Church of Christ. He was preceded in death by his mother, Veda Smith McClenney in 2001 Funeral services were held at 11:00 a.m. was held on Friday July 2, 2004 with full military honors, and burial at Rose Bank Cemetery in Flat Creek Tennessee.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

American Forces Press Service ~~ WASHINGTON, June 6, 2005 ~– A nationwide project is under way to pay lasting tribute to fallen servicemembers in their hometowns. The first bust in the "Statues of Servicemen" campaign, that of Marine Pfc. Daniel McClenney, was unveiled in Shelbyville, Tenn., on April 22. He was killed on June 24, 2004, when his unit was ambushed while patrolling Afghanistan's mountainous Konar province. The "Statues of Servicemen" campaign is an effort to immortalize every American servicemember killed in the war on terrorism by creating a bronze statue of their likeness. The statues will be placed in the hometowns of the fallen servicemembers. "These statues will be placed in city and town halls and government buildings throughout the United States to memorialize the brave men and women who have given their lives in the war on terror," said Sam Patterson, national SOS project director. The organization began in March 2004 as "Survivors of Servicemen," with the goal of bringing attention to the trauma inflicted on the families of those killed, and to highlight the financial distress faced by many military families. The group began selling "Wear Camo" wristbands to raise money for families who lost loved ones. The wristbands were so successful that they decided to use the proceeds to fund the statue campaign, Patterson said. The first statue was unveiled in Shelbyville, Tenn., on April 22 with the bust of Marine Corps Pfc. Daniel McClenney. He was killed on June 24, 2004, when his unit was ambushed while patrolling Afghanistan's mountainous Konar province. The ceremony took place at the Shelbyville Court House, where the Nashville Marine Corps Reserve unit provided a 21-gun salute, and McClenney was posthumously awarded the Silver Star. McClenney's commanding officer, Lt. Col. Julian D. Alford, presented the medal to McClenney's father, Randy McClenney. "His life was lived as an example of decency, and his death a costly price for freedom," Alford said. "His fellow Marines continue to feel his absence, and they will never be the same. But they are more committed to the causes of liberty." "This medal means so much to me," Randy McClenney said. "It's something I can look at every day and think of my son." Regarding the statue, Randy McClenney said, "I am sure my son would have been deeply touched by your gift to his family and the city of Shelbyville." The second statue, this one depicting Marine Capt. Brent Morel, was unveiled in Memphis, Tenn., on May 21. Morel was killed in Iraq on April 7, 2004, when insurgents ambushed his platoon while they escorted a convoy in the Anbar province. He was awarded the Navy Cross and is nominated for the Medal of Honor. "I know that what he was doing was noble and right. It was what he had been trained to do and something he chose to do," said Brent's father, Mike Morel. SOS is working with parents and spouses around the country to memorialize more troops. "The human psyche is eased in times of deep sorrow by remembering and attempting to make tangible lives that are lost," Alford said. "Memorials serve this purpose. Memorials make our remembrance palpable."

Lance Cpl. Juston T. Thacker, USMC

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Lance Cpl. Juston T. Thacker, 21, of Bluefield, West Virginia, died June 24 from hostile fire near Bari Khout, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Associated Press ~~ PRINCETON, West Virginia ~~ A Marine from Princeton who was motivated to join the military because of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks was killed in Afghanistan this week, according to his family. Lance Cpl. Juston Thacker was killed in an ambush Thursday near the Pakistan border, his uncle, Kenneth Meadows, said Friday. He was shot in the chest and abdomen while returning to camp with a border patrol, Meadows said. Meadows did not know Thacker’s unit number but said he was based at Camp Lejeune, N.C. Thacker had served two years in the Marine Corps and had spent much of that time in Afghanistan. He was serving his second tour of duty. “He was a very kind and loving young man,” Meadows said. “He considered it a privilege and an honor to serve his country and be a Marine. And he did it for us — for freedom — for all of us.” “He was in college when 9/11 hit and he dropped out to join,” said Meadows. “He was planning on going back to school when he got out. He wanted to go into wildlife management.” Meadows said his nephew also planned to get married after getting out of the military. He had recently gotten engaged. Thacker was a 2001 graduate of Princeton Senior High School, where he played football. Coach Ted Spadaro called Thacker a “hard worker.” “Everything we asked of him, he tried to accomplish, and he did it with pride and hard work,” Spadaro said. “I wish we had more kids like Juston.” Kathy Fredeking, a guidance counselor at the school, said Thacker is the first student she’s known to be killed in the line of duty. “I was looking through the 2001 yearbook, and I noticed that his motto was ‘Life is short. Live long and hard.’ I thought that was very prophetic,” she said. “You know, you talk about great kids and you often wonder who they are. But when you meet them, you know that you’re meeting a great kid. Juston was one of them.” The Department of Defense had not posted information about Thacker’s death as of Friday evening, and a call to the Marine Corps public affairs line was not answered. The military did announce that two Marines were killed and another wounded in an attack in eastern Afghanistan late Thursday. The names of the Marines and other details were not released. The deaths brought to at least 92 the number of American troops killed in or around Afghanistan since the start of the campaign that ousted the Taliban in late 2001.


~ H O M E ~