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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A local soldier who was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan is being remembered this week in Westmoreland County.
Family and friends came out to Cornerstone Church in Export Monday afternoon to pay their respects to Army Staff Sgt. Jason McClary.
“This is a very sad day when one of our fallen brothers goes down there are no words to say to family or anyone. It’s just a heartache,” said Frank Persia, of American Legion Post 711.
McClary died on Dec. 2nd from injuries he sustained in a device explosion in Afghanistan.
“He was the driver, and he got the full blast,” said his mother, JoLynn Maoli. “I just took a deep breath and fell to the floor.”
“He sacrificed it all, he sacrificed it all for us,” said Cheryl Staubauch, of Export. “He’s a local boy, so I wanted to come out and support his family. He took that step for his country to keep us free.”
- RELATED LINK: Export Soldier Who Received 2 Purple Hearts, Dies From Injuries Sustained In IED Explosion
McClary was the second local soldier killed in Afghanistan in the past month.
Air Force Staff Sgt. Dylan Elchin, of Hookstown, Beaver County, died in November from the same incident.
Congressman Keith Rothfus met with McClary’s family on Monday.
“Anytime you have a person who gives up their life for country is a sacred moment, and as I explained to the family, there are 300 million people, more than 300 million people standing behind this family today, and for any Gold Star family,” said Rep. Keith Rothfus, of the 12th Congressional District.
A second visitation was expected to be heavily attended from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday.
Funeral services will be held for McClary at 10:30 a.m. at the Cornerstone Church. Then, he will be buried at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies.