NASHVILLE, Ind. – A fallen Hoosier Hero’s legacy will live on in Brown County. Sergeant Jeremy McQueary died in 2010 while serving in Afghanistan. The Marine loved animals, and through a special grant, many will be saved in his memory.
“Oh, I mean it’s hard,” said Rae McQueary, Jeremy’s widow, “It’s hard every day.”
Memorial Day brings its own heartache for Rae and her 6-year-old son Hadley.
“It gives us a chance to think about and reflect on Jeremy and his life,” she said.
Sergeant Jeremy McQueary was on his third deployment in 2010. He died at age 27 when an IED exploded in Afghanistan.
Rae and Jeremy had been together since high school. Their son Hadley was on 5 months old when his father died.
“You never get over it, but you do kind of, you learn how to move forward,” Rae said.
Jeremy’s life and legacy was profiled by the Dog Tag Brewing Foundation. As part of that, families get to pick a legacy project.
Rae and Hadley chose the Brown County Humane Society, which will receive a $7,000 grant.
“He kind of made pets of things everywhere he went, even in Iraq or Afghanistan. He’d find chickens or goats to name and tend to,” she said.
The money will go to the society’s medical fund to pay for procedures for sick animals and also cover the adoption fees for senior and special needs animals, helping them find a home faster.
“I think the only word we can use is honored to be a part of this grant. Jeremy gave the ultimate sacrifice for his county and for us to be able to do something that in a small way honors him and shows his love for animals and our love for animals combining – It is a huge honor for everyone here,” said Megan Gushwa, Development Manager, Brown County Humane Society.
For Hadley, it means living out his father’s legacy, especially on a day when all of us pause to say thank you.
“I want to help animals,” Hadley said, “I want to be grateful to him.”
For more information about donating to the McQueary legacy fund, visit the Brown County Humane Society page.