The love a Marine had for animals and Brown County continues to live on years after his death in Afghanistan.
The Brown County Humane Society has been awarded a grant from the Dog Tag Brewing Foundation in honor of Sgt. Jeremy McQueary, a Columbus native and Brown County resident.
McQueary died Feb. 18, 2010, in the Helmand Province in Afghanistan, after being struck by shrapnel from an improvised explosive device. He was 27.
He left behind his wife, Rae, also originally from Columbus, and an infant son, Hadley, in Brown County, as well as his mother and stepfather, Dave and Deb Kleinschmidt in Columbus, and a sister, Rebecca.
The grant will provide matching funds for the Humane Society’s phone-a-thon, which raises money for a medical fund used to treat animals with illnesses and injuries beyond what is normally needed, a press release said.
All funds raised through Wednesday will be doubled through matching grants provided by four foundations, including Dog Tag Brewing Foundation, the humane society reported.
The giving doesn’t stop there.
The Dog Tag Brewing grant also includes money to cover the adoption fees of senior and special-needs pets.
The Dog Tag Brewing Foundation works with families of fallen soldiers to create legacy projects, which the foundation then provides grants to support. Each project and soldier is then featured on a dedication can.
McQueary’s family chose the Brown County Humane Society for his project because “he loved animals and loved Brown County. He wanted to live here so badly,” Rae McQueary said. “He was deployed three times and he had a goat, and chickens and other random things there.”
Jeremy McQueary grew up in Bartholomew County and graduated from Columbus East High School in 2002.
He served in two tours of Iraq before deploying to Afghanistan, where he was a motor vehicle operator assigned to the 2nd Combat Engineering Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Expeditionary Force.
This is the latest local project dedicated to his memory.
On Veterans Day 2013, the State Road 46 East bridge over the north fork of Salt Creek was named for McQueary. A bench on the People Trail in Columbus also bears his name.
Suzannah Couch is a staff writer for the Brown County Democrat, a sister publication of The Republic.
Donations collected through Wednesday to the Brown County Humane Society will be matched by the Dog Tag Brewing Foundation and other foundations. For instructions and a click-to-give link, visit bchumane.org/donate.
To see all Dog Tag Brewing Company legacy projects, visit dogtagbrewing.org/fallen-heroes.