The second installment of Q and O’s “Project Hero” tells us the story of PFC Daniel McClenney, who was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for valor in combat in Afghanistan.
If you were to look up PFC McClenney’s name on CNN roster of war casualties, here’s what you would read:
Pfc. Daniel B. McClenney, 19, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, Shelbyville, Tennessee
Died from hostile fire near Bari Khout in Afghanistan’s Kunar Province, which borders Pakistan, on June 24, 2004
“Died from hostile fire”. That’s all CNN gives you.
Let’s look at what that brief phrase really contains.
McClenney’s last battle was described in a citation by Gordon R. England, secretary of the Navy, who served as the first deputy secretary of Homeland Security. Lt. Col. Alford read the citation.
“On 24 June 2004, McClenney’s fireteam sought to locate and disarm enemy militia in the Konar Province of Afganistan. Enemy fire from two ambush positions intended to support a larger attack on other Marines and Coalition forces at Firebase Naray.
“The enemy would have dealt a detrimental blow … had Pfc. McClenney’s fire team not reacted in a quick and decisive manner,” the Navy secretary wrote.
“McClenney continued to engage the enemy despite being wounded on the initial burst of enemy fire,” England said. “After his team leader was killed, he took over radio communications and gave constant situation reports to the firebase and quick reaction force for 30 minutes.
“McClenney aggressively exchanged fire with the enemy while simultaneously requesting medical evacuation for his entire team,” England said. “With a severe wound to his abdomen and a broken arm … McClenney displayed an indominable fighting spirit as he fought hand-to-hand, until he was mortally wounded.”
He fought through terrible wounds and the loss of his team leader to save lives and deal the enemy a defeat. He deserves more than “died from hostile fire” and I thank McQ for introducing us all to him.
If you have other decorated heroes of the war, please let me know and I’ll pass them along to McQ for inclusion in the ongoing “Project Hero”.
Category: Project Hero