PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The sun glistened through the clouds above Cornerstone Church in Export as people walked inside to say their final goodbyes to Army Staff Sgt. Jason McClary.
Among those people was the 24-year-old Export native’s older brother and his family.
“To see everybody reach out like they are means a whole lot,” said McClary’s brother, Jeffrey Ritter.
Ritter said there’s no question, his brother had a passion for the job.
“He loved what he did. Loved his country. He died a hero. He will be missed,” said Ritter.
“He’s one of the strongest and most caring people we’ve known,” said McClary’s sister-in-law, Katrina Ritter.
Even though McClary loved what he did, family members said he was ready to come home.
“We believe he planned on coming back to Pennsylvania so he could live with his family,” said Katrina Ritter.
McClary was one of four servicemen killed when a roadside bomb exploded in Afghanistan late last month. He was flown to a military hospital in Germany, where he died at the beginning of December. He leaves behind a wife and two young boys.
“She’s definitely a trooper. She’s got the two boys on her own and she don’t complain, nothing. She’s really strong,” said Jeffrey Ritter.
HAPPENING NOW: Funeral services just ended and Army Staff Sgt. Jason McClary will be heading shortly to the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies where he will be laid to rest. @kdka #KDKA pic.twitter.com/w8O4FO6v4Q
— Amy Wadas (@AmyWadas) December 18, 2018
Even those that didn’t know McClary wanted to thank him in person for his service and sacrifice.
“Kinda speechless about it. Thank God he has brave men in our country like that to go out and defend us,” said Murrysville resident Scott Bowman.
Following funeral services, McClary was buried at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies in Washington County.