Snyder wins unanimous vote on bill honoring local Vietnam War hero

Measure now before Senate would name bridge in honor of Clarksville infantryman

HARRISBURG, June 5 – State Rep. Pam Snyder, D-Greene/Fayette/Washington, said the state House of Representatives today unanimously approved her measure that would name a Greene County bridge as the Private First Class Brent A. McClellan Memorial Bridge.

“Army Private Brent McClellan gave his life on behalf of his country more than 51 years ago, and this tribute is long overdue,” said Snyder of her House Bill 952. “With the Senate’s concurrence, the bridge along Castile Run Road spanning the South Fork of Tenmile Creek between Jefferson Township and Clarksville Borough will forever honor this young patriot.”

Snyder said McClellan was killed Feb. 28, 1966, in an ambush in Binh Dinh Province, South Vietnam, while assigned to 1st Platoon, B Company, 5th Cavalry in the Army’s 1st Cavalry Division.

“Brent was just 21, a native of Clarksville, a graduate of Jefferson-Morgan High School, and gone from our midst far too soon,” said Snyder, who recalled how news of his death reverberated through the community. “Naming the bridge over State Route 1011 will remind all of us of the sacrifice made on our behalf.”

As part of his service, McClellan was selected to serve in the Honor Guard at Fort Myers, Va., during which time he was chosen to stand by the grave of President John F. Kennedy. He received the Purple Heart, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Combat Infantryman Badge.

“We cannot repay the sacrifice of those who gave their lives defending us, but at the very least, we can and we must remember them,” said Snyder, who noted that the young private was one of 38 Americans killed that last day of February in 1966 in Vietnam.