McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Local News

November 13, 2010

Soldier Remembered

McALESTER — Sgt. Jason J. McCluskey was laid to rest on Saturday with hundreds of his friends, family members and comrades in attendance. And there were hundreds more standing outside the First Baptist Church in McAlester listening to his memorial service via tall standing loudspeakers. And still there were hundreds more lining the roads and intersections from the church to the cemetery waving American Flags and patriotic signs. And there were yet hundreds more at his graveside services at the Tannehill cemetery.

“Our Army and nation will be forever indebted to Sgt. McCluskey for his service,” said Maj. Gen. Rodney O. Anderson, XVIII Airborne Corps DCG. “Sgt. McCluskey laid down his life for his friends, his battle buddies, his unit, our Army and our nation.”

McCluskey, 26, a 2004 McAlester High School graduate and United States Army paratrooper, was killed in action on Nov. 4 while serving his country in the United States Army in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

Anderson, who was co-officiating the funeral services with Dr. Tim Russell, said that McCluskey’s job in the Army was one of the most dangerous, and “he led his men from the front into combat.” McCluskey’s unit, and “battle buddies,” remain in Afghanistan, Anderson said, “still fighting the fight.”

Among numerous other awards, honors and medals, Sgt. McCluskey was awarded two Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star for his service.

“I believe Jason’s mission in life was to be a protector and defender, and that is what he did,” said Anita McCluskey, Jason’s grandmother. “There is no greater love than a person who lays down his life for others. Jason showed us this love and we have all been honored and blessed by him.”

McCluskey was born on Sept. 12, 1984, in Stockton, Calif. “Jason was a McAlester Buffalo,” said his mother, Delores Oliveras, in an earlier interview. “He wrestled and went to State multiple years while he was in high school.” He graduated from McAlester High School in 2004 and he joined the U.S. Army in April of 2006.

McCluskey’s long-time friend, Alena Ashalintubbi, spoke of how kind he was. “He had a way about him that immediately put people at ease,” she explained, “anyone who knew Jason, knew his love for life. He was so funny.”

McAlester Buffalo coach Brent Grilliot had been McCluskey’s Junior High wrestling coach, as well as his senior year coach. Jason was honest, trustworthy, accountable, independent, reliable and “fun to coach,” Grilliot said. “He never let his team down, he never quit and he never, ever, disappointed me.”

Russell, a funeral officiator, explained that he hadn’t realized the kind of “stir” McCluskey’s memorial had caused within the community. “It has caused a lot of good,” Russell said, “the community has come together as a result of this and I’m grateful to the community for coming together in support of Sgt. Jason J. McCluskey.” Russell went on to explain that “Jason believed in the mission of our military. He believed that if he didn’t go fight our enemies for this mission over there, then our enemies would come back here and fight.”

Jerome Snider, father of Sgt. Jeremy Snider, said that his son had been in McCluskey’s unit and he was at the memorial so he could take pictures of the services to send back to the men in McCluskey’s unit, whom are still in Afghanistan.

Services at the church concluded and viewing began as several uniformed members of the Honor Team of Fort Bragg, N.C., marched to the front of the church and, two at a time, saluted Sgt. Jason McCluskey while he lay in his casket.

The funeral procession to Tannehill Cemetery was headed by hundreds of motorcycles and greeted with hundreds of people lining the streets and intersections holding patriotic signs and American Flags. McCluskey was honored in graveside services by the 27th Engineering Battalion (C) (A) Honor Team of Fort Bragg, N.C. with Captain Tim Behnke, USA 307th Engineering Battalion (C) (A) Chaplain, Officiating.

McCluskey was honored in his graveside services by a ceremonial rifle volley, “taps” by trumpet, funeral bagpipes and a ceremonial folding of the flag and flag presentations to his son, Landon, his mother, Delores, his father, Jimmy, and his brother, Joshua.

McCluskey is survived by his son, Landon McCluskey; his mother, Delores Darby McCluskey Oliveras, and her husband, Ray; his father, Jimmy McCluskey; his brother, Joshua Stambaugh; his stepfather, Charlie Stambaugh; his grandmother, Anita McCluskey; his grandmother, Wilma Kohl and husband Doyle; mother of his son, Cassie Wright; and many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.

Moments prior to services beginning, Sgt. Jason McCluskey’s mother, Delores, asked that the News-Capital extend her thanks and appreciation to the community, the mayor, the groups and organizations and individuals who have come together in support of her son and her family.

Contact Rachel Petersen at rpetersen@

mcalesternews.com

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • mc-safety2.jpg OHP slates free motorcycle safety course

    The Oklahoma Highway Patrol will be back in McAlester to give a free motorcycle safety course on April 26.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Couple seeks to help homosexual community in McAlester

    A McAlester woman says she and her spouse are working to bring equality to McAlester.

    April 18, 2014

  • Look what's going on downtown McAlester tonight

    Tonight, area residents are invited to join other community members in front of the old Hunts building at the northwest corner of Choctaw Avenue and Second Street in downtown McAlester to listen and to play music in an open street jam, karaoke, cruise-in and to enjoy one of McAlester's two downtown districts. Set-up starts at 6 p.m., jam will be underway by 7 p.m. and at approximately 8 p.m. karaoke all the while cars cruise in. Everyone should feel free to bring lawn chairs and grills, instruments and music equipment, or classic, modified, modern -- all -- show cars. There are no contests or prizes planned, just community fellowship. 

    April 18, 2014

  • Police Badge MCC.jpg Detective's Dispatch: Buckle up

    It only takes a few seconds to put your seat belt on. These few seconds could change the rest of your life!

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • KTC Proclamation McAlester KTC students compete in state FCCLA contest

    Kiamichi Technology Center, McAlester Campus, recently participated in the 2014 Oklahoma State Students Taking Action with Recognition Events for Family, Career and Community Leaders of America.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-18-BREAKFAST1.jpg Lackey: Challenge of today's church is to empower Christ

    Christians everywhere make up the Body of Christ.
    Tom Lackey, of the First Presbyterian Church, delivered that message to the fourth gathering of those participating in the Men’s Holy Week Breakfasts.
    Lackey spoke to a group estimated at more than 100 men and boys at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in McAlester on Thursday.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Moon Shadow McAlester crowd gathers to watch lunar eclipse

    More than 60 local and area residents gathered to endure the cold temperatures and late night hours to witness one of Mother Nature’s celestial night shows Tuesday morning.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Luncheon speaker Hundreds attend ladies luncheon

    The 42 Annual Women’s Holy Week Salad Luncheon took place Thursday at the Scottish Rite Masonic Temple.

    April 17, 2014 3 Photos

  • Copper wire $5,000 reward offered after theft of copper wire

    A $5,000 reward is being offered in connection with a theft of copper wire causing some $400,000 in damage and causing a Savanna asphalt company to shut down operations, police say.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Crash south of Kiowa McAlester trooper saluted

    Trooper Sean Mass of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol’s Troop D, McAlester, has been recognized as a Trooper of the Year by AAA Oklahoma.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Seasonal Content
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
NDN Video
Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station My name is Cocaine Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday Don't Be A Tattletale: Bad Bullying Tips For Students The trillest thoughts on marijuana "RHOA" Star Charged With Battery Grizzly Bears Get Snowy Birthday Party Weatherman draws forecast when another technical glitch strikes WGN
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.