James F McClamrock
Huntersville, North Carolina
September 7, 2010
Died at Balad, Iraq, of wounds suffered in a shooting incident in Salah ad-Din province.
Army Pfc. James F. McClamrock honored in dignified transfer Sept. 9
|From News Channel 7 CBS wspa.com
Former Hendersonville Resident Dies In Iraq Shooting
|Schofield soldier felt Army was his calling, family says
By Emery P. Dalesio
The Associated Press
RALEIGH, N.C. — Watching soldiers coming and going through Charlotte’s airport where he worked as a baggage screener, James McClamrock believed he heard God telling him to go, too.
“He wanted to be on the front line. He wanted to make a difference,” his mother, Susan McClamrock, said Sept. 9 as she waited at Dover Air Force Base, Del., for her son’s body to be returned to the U.S.
McClamrock, 22, of Huntersville was one of two soldiers killed Sept. 7 at a military base near the city of Tuz Khormato, about 130 miles north of Baghdad, when an Iraqi soldier opened fire.
He and Sgt. Philip C. Jenkins, 26, of Decatur, Ind., were the first service members to die since President Obama declared an end to combat operations in the country Aug. 31. McClamrock and Jenkins were assigned to 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Advise and Assist Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, based at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
Both were posthumously promoted, McClamrock from private to private first class, and Jenkins from sergeant to staff sergeant.
Nine other U.S. troops were wounded in the incident. The Iraqi soldier was killed. The shootings would not “affect our strong commitment to the mission of advising and assisting the Iraqi Security Forces,” the U.S. military in Iraq said in a statement.
There are nearly 50,000 American troops in Iraq as of Aug. 31, down from a high of 170,000. Those remaining are training Iraqi security forces, providing security for some State Department missions and helping the Iraqi forces hunt down insurgent groups. But they can be drawn into combat missions if Iraqi forces request their help.
McClamrock was shot as he and other members of his unit were about to leave for a mission with some of the Iraqi forces they had trained, the military told his father, Mark McClamrock, pastor of Concord Associate Reform Presbyterian Church in Concord.
James McClamrock, who was born in Columbia, S.C., took leave from his job working security for the Transportation Security Administration at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport to enlist in the Army, his mother said.
It was something he’d thought about doing at least since he met his wife four years ago. They’d been married for two years. He enlisted a year ago.
“He’s always had an interest in it as long as I’ve known him. But he’d been praying about it and he was like, ‘I really feel like this is what God wants me to do,’ ” said his wife, Shannah, 23. “Who was I to stop that?”
James was so gung-ho, when he was at home in May before shipping off to Iraq he awoke before dawn, laced up his boots, shouldered a 60-pound backpack and hit the road for a 10-mile run to keep from losing his physical edge, Susan McClamrock said.
She said her family was leaning on their faith to carry them through the loss.
“We have no doubt in our mind at all that we will see him again and that he’s in heaven. That doesn’t make it any easier for us missing him here on Earth, but it does relieve a lot of our worry because we know he’s OK,” Susan McClamrock said.
|McClamrock was a dedicated soldier
The Associated Press
James McClamrock loved his wife, Shannah — so much so that he refused to show her picture to his Army buddies.
He didn’t want other men thinking about his wife, his father, Mark McClamrock, said at the soldier’s memorial service. And James McClamrock was looking forward to starting a family with the woman he married in 2008.
“He was so jealous about Shannah,” Mark McClamrock said.
The 22-year-old soldier from Huntersville, N.C., was shot and killed by a man in an Iraqi army uniform Sept. 7 in Balad. Another soldier also died in the attack. He graduated from South Iredell High School.
He was such a dedicated soldier, his mother said, he made sure to maintain his physical edge even while on leave. He would awaken before dawn and go for a 10-mile run wearing a 60-pound backpack, said his mother, Susan McClamrock.
Before joining the military, McClamrock worked as a security screener in Charlotte, N.C., for the Transportation Security Administration.
“He’s always had an interest in it as long as I’ve known him. But he’d been praying about it and he was like, ‘I really feel like this is what God wants me to do,’” Shannah McClamrock told The Associated Press in September. “Who was I to stop that?”
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