Senator Borrello joined by family, friends and the Clemens community to dedicate ‘Staff Sgt. Shawn M. Clemens’ Memorial Highway
ST. BONAVENTURE, NY – The courage and sacrifices of an Allegany native who gave his life while serving with great distinction in the global war on terrorism was honored today with the dedication of ‘State Sgt. -major. Shawn M. Clemens Memorial Highway.
Sen. George Borrello and Assemblyman Joseph M. Giglio, sponsors of the legislation enacting the designation, were joined at St. Bonaventure University’s Walsh Auditorium by Master Sgt. Family, friends and members of the Clemens community to commemorate the contributions of the Bronze Star recipient.
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Shawn M. Clemens, 28, was killed in action by an explosion on January 29, 2004, while patrolling the Afghan village of Dehe Hendu as his unit secured a large cache of weapons they had discovered.
“Staff Sgt. Clemens served his country with honor and distinction. Now, Route 417 in his hometown will be a testament to his commitment and selflessness to our great nation,” said Senator Borrello. “In as a young student, he enlisted in the United States Army, where he excelled as a leader, graduating from the Army’s elite sniper school and reaching the rank of Staff Sgt. Staff.
“He served with bravery and distinction and ultimately gave his life in defense of freedom. This kind of heroism deserves to be recognized, not only by us, but by those who follow us. This is why this dedication is so important. This highway will now serve as a permanent tribute to Master Sergeant. Clement.
“While we can never fully repay the debt we owe Staff Sgt. Clemens and his family, we can swear to always remember what he did for us and honor his sacrifice.
Staff Sgt. Clemens is the son of William and Candace Clemens of Allegany and the brother of Kristen Keenan and Michelle Rauluk. At the time of his death, he was married to April Robbins Clemens and had a three-year-old son, Gavin, and a stepdaughter, Alexis Clark.
“It was an honor to sponsor this bill in the Assembly. The renaming of Route 417 in the town of Allegany as Staff Sgt. Shawn M. Clemens Memorial Highway is a symbol of our deep appreciation for the sacrifices made by this young soldier and his family,” said MP Giglio. “We can never truly repay the debt we owe Master Sgt. Clemens, who fought so bravely for the freedom of others, but we will do everything we can to honor his memory.
Staff Sgt. Clemens grew up in Allegany and graduated from Allegany Central School in 1993. At Allegany he was a varsity athlete in football, wrestling and baseball. He was also an avid hunter, fisherman and outdoorsman.
He attended Alfred State College before enlisting in the United States Army. During eight years of service, Master Sgt. Clemens is a graduate of Basic Training and Airborne Training at Ft. Benning, GA., and Jungle Expert Advanced Training in Panama. He was first assigned to 1st Battalion, 75e Ranger Regiment at Hunter Army Airfield, Savannah, GA. After graduating from the US Army Sniper School, he was assigned as an infantry team and squad leader at Bravo Co., 2n/a Battalion, 14e Infantry Regiment of 10e Mountain Division at Fort Drum.
During his military service, Master Sgt. Clemens was twice awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge, he was also awarded the Parachutist Badge, Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart Medal, two Army Commendation Medals, three Army Honor Medal, Good Conduct Medal with Bronze Knot Clasp, National Defense Service Medal, Kosovo Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, WWII Expeditionary Medal Terrorism, Global War on Terror Service Medal, US Army Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon with “2” Device, US Army Service Ribbon, NATO Medal – Kosovo Operation , U.S. Army Expert Rifleman Insignia, the Valorous Unit Award and the Superior Unit Award.
“Staff Sgt. Clemens dedicated his life to the service of his country. He embodied the ideals of honor, duty and courage, which exemplify the men and women who serve in our nation’s armed forces “Senator Borrello said. “Growing up, Master Sgt. Clemens has traveled this route several times with his family. Naming this highway after him is a fitting tribute to his service and sacrifice. I want to thank Congressman Giglio for sponsoring this legislation in the Assembly and Governor Hochul for signing it into law.
“I also want to thank St. Bonaventure University for hosting today’s event and the New York State Department of Transportation for partnering with us to make this dedication possible and for their continued commitment to honoring our veterans through statewide commemorative name changes.”