McAlester Soldier Remembered, Honored At Service

Saturday, November 13th 2010, 1:27 pm
By: News On 6

Lacie Lowry, News On 6

McALESTER, Oklahoma -- Army Sergeant Jason McCluskey of McAlester was killed November 4th while serving in Afghanistan.

11/10/2010 Related Story: McAlester Soldier Remembered For Hard Work, Determination

His funeral was Saturday and hundreds of friends, family and even strangers ushered him to his final resting place.

Only 26-years-old and Sgt. Jason McCluskey spent the last four years of his life serving our country.

"He was like a little meteor just flying through the sky, a bright light, and we have all been honored and blessed by knowing him," said McCluskey's Grandmother Anita McCluskey.

McCluskey was a paratrooper and combat engineer with the 18th Airborne Corps out of Fort Bragg and was recently named his battalion's Noncommissioned Officer of the Year.

"Sgt. McCluskey laid down his life for his friends, his battle buddies, his unit, our army and our nation," said U.S. Army Major General Rodney Anderson.

McCluskey was a star athlete from McAlester High School. Many of his friends were in attendance at Saturday's service.

"He was my very best friend, he was the kind of man you can count on and was loved by all who knew him," said Alena Ashland.

He leaves behind his parents, grandparents, brother and his biggest accomplishment, his 4-year-old son. Family motivated him to make a better life for himself.

"And I believe Jason, that the Lord I know in my heart greeted you with these words: Well done, thy good and faithful servant," his grandmother said.

Outside the church, supporters lined the streets to give McCluskey a final farewell.

"It just hits close to home and this young man went to school with my daughter so it's just very important that I be here and show my support," said McAlester Teacher Penny Oss.

Others did not know McCluskey, but understand and salute the sacrifice he made.

"My whole family is military and I just think it is the right thing to do. Personally, I didn't know him, but he's just another brother in arms," said Army PFC Conner Anderson.

Sgt. McCluskey was awarded several medals, ribbons and badges during his military service. After his death, he was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.