"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."
Although PFC McClenney was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for his valor in the engagement in which he lost his life, probably the tribute that would have meant the most to him was deliverd by LCpl Brian Mobly who had been in the same fire fight and was severely wounded as a result. Said LCpl Mobly, "He was a helluva Marine".
PROJECT HERO is an ongoing attempt to highlight the valor of our military as they fight in both Iraq and Afghanistan. We constantly hear the negative and far to little of the positive and inspiring stories coming out of those countries. This is one small attempt to rectify that. If you know of a story of valor you'd like to see highlighted here (published on Saturday), please contact us. And we'd appreciate your link so we can spread the word.