Sgt. Jeremy R. McQueary, 27, of Columbus, IN, was born January 28, 1983. He died February 18, 2010, while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Sgt. McQueary graduated from Columbus East High School and joined the Marines in 2000. He previously served in Okinawa, Japan; then served two tours in Iraq in 2005 and 2008. He had completed 5 of his 7 months of his first tour in Afghanistan when he died. Sgt. McQueary leaves behind a wife; Rae, and a 5 month old son, Hadley; his parents, Dave (stepfather) and Deb Kleinschmidt; and his sister, Rebecca.
His awards, among others, include a Combat Action Ribbon and a Purple Heart. On November 11, 2013, more than three years later, he was remembered with a southern Indiana highway bridge named in his honor. The sign for the Sgt. Jeremy McQueary Bridge was unveiled during a ceremony with Gov. Mike Pence in attendance at Brown County State Park. The renamed bridge takes Indiana 46 over Salt Creek near the park's entrance. It’s a 186-foot-long, two-lane bridge that Jeremy crossed many times in his 27 years.
Debbie Kleinschmidt tells The Republic she requested an honor along the highway for her son because he often traveled it from his hometown of Columbus to visit his future wife in Brown County. Rae McQueary tells WTHR-TV it's special that the state honored her husband's sacrifice and that she'll be able to point out "daddy's bridge" to their now four year old son.
The McQueary Family has chosen to support the Brown County Humane Society through Dog Tag Legacy Fund. They are an open admission shelter, meaning that they accept any and all of Brown County’s homeless dogs and cats. Even in doing so, they have a remarkable 95% "out alive" rate and does a wonderful job finding homes for these animals.