Sniper Victim Lance Cpl. John McClellan Honored by Gov. Blunt

The third time he was shot was the luckiest day of Lance Cpl. John McClellan’s life.

A sniper’s bullet somehow flew barely under the Marine’s helmet, hitting just above his left ear. It severed facial nerves and parts of his ear, ripped a hole in the lower section of his skull and brain, and tore its way out through the back of his neck. But it missed his carotid artery by the thickness of a few sheets of paper. And it missed vital sections of his brain. It missed his vision and vocal controls, too.

Doctors told his family that 99 of 100 patients with similar injuries die.
But he was the other one.

Stars and Stripes
November 3, 2006

Yesterday, Lance Cpl. John McClellan, the victim of a sniper attack in Iraq back on September 26, 2006, walked out on to the House Floor and was honored by Missouri State Governor Matt Blunt.

Lance Cpl. John McClellan was honored Wednesday by Missouri Governor Matt Blunt

Lance Cpl. John McClellan was honored on the House floor on Wednesday, january 10, 2006.
The St. Louis Post Dispatch reported:

A Columbia Marine who was shot in the head by a sniper while on duty in Iraq was honored as “the living embodiment of patriotism” today on the floor of the Missouri House.

Lance Cpl. John McClellan, who was shot Sept. 26 while stationed with a unit in Haditha, Iraq, was named an Outstanding Missourian by House Minority Leader Jeff Harris, D-Columbia.

“His progress and rehabilitation has been remarkable, utterly remarkable,” Harris said. “I think it only appropriate that we as Missourians, we as Americans, regardless of our political affiliation, honor John for his service.”

McClellan, 20, returned to his hometown of Columbia in November after spending two months recovering in military hospitals from his injuries. He received a 2-minute-long standing ovation this afternoon on the floor of the House. McClellan and his family later met with Gov. Matt Blunt.

McClellan’s mother, Connie McClellan, said her son is deaf in his left ear and is re-learning how to walk but that his recovery is nothing short of a miracle.

“When he came home, he looked like he had had a stroke,” Connie McClellan said. ”Now, he’s walking, talking, playing video games. It’s wonderful.”


John receiving his award on the floor of the Missouri State Capital Building.

** Much thanks to John’s mother Connie for sending these photos from today’s ceremony in Jefferson City.
Thanks also to Phil and George.

John’s Platoon Sgt. wrote back after hearing the news:

Thanks for the pictures. I’m printing some up right now to post for the Marines. The attacks here have slowed down a bit. The locals acted up for a couple of days when they hung, knucklehead. Otherwise, we have been as safe as we can be here. Tell John everyone is doing well and we still think about him and pray for continued success with his recovery.

1stSgt D. L. A.
Echo Company
Haditha City, Iraq

Previously on Lance Cpl. John McClellan:
The Life of Lance Cpl. John McClellan… A Story Too Hot for CNN
Meanwhile… Good News From Florida on Lance Cpl. McClellan
Happy Thanksgiving! 2006

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