Veteran Stories

Hugh McClenney

Hugh McClenney was drafted in the U. S. Army in 1969. He comes from a family of military men. His father served in WWII, and his oldest son is getting ready to retire from 20 years of service in the U. S. Marine Corp.

Hugh did his basic training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and was sent for Advanced Training to Fort Pope, Louisiana. He was given 30 days leave and was then shipped to Vietnam. Mr. McClenney didn’t want to speak too much about his service. It was a hard time and his transition to civilian life was difficult. He still suffers from nightmares, not as bad as when he first returned, but he will always remember.

Mr. McClenney received a Purple Heart, an Army Commendation Medal with 1st Oak Leaf Cluster and “V” Device, Vietnam Service Medal W/3 Bronze Service Stars and a Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross W/ Palm Unit Citation Badge, all for his heroism and valor when his unit was led into an enemy VC camp where they were ambushed. Hugh was wounded, along with many other men, with shrapnel in both legs and a bullet in his arm. He was sent out for rehab and when he was released, he was sent back to his unit for another eight months. When asked how tough that was Hugh says, “I sweated about it all the time.” 

When Hugh returned home, it took him at least 6 months to get acclimated. He got a job working for Fischer Homes and later worked 29 years with Martin Marietta.  He married his wife Jane of over 40 years, and she is his rock. “She has kept me straight and has always been there for me. She is a strong woman,” says Hugh. His voice softens when he speaks of his wife. 

Purple Heart Homes has replaced the roof on the McClenney’s home, and with the help of volunteers, a ramp was built so Hugh can get in and out of his home.  “If Purple Heart Homes hadn’t helped us, I don’t know what we would have done. Our roof would be leaking, and I wouldn’t be able to get in and out of the house on my own,” says Hugh. Purple Heart Homes is privileged to assist the McClenneys, and we welcome them into the Purple Heart Homes family!

Thank you for your service Mr. McClenney, and thank you Jane, for being by his side!

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