By Beth Hillyer
HONOLULU (KHNL) - Three thousand six hundred and forty two U.S. service members have died since the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan began. Many of those killed in action have ties to Hawaii. Monday, the Hawaii State Legislature will honor those who died in the line of duty.
The family of Marine Major Megan McClung will be among those with heavy hearts attending the ceremony.
Mike and Re McClung have a lifetime of memories of their daughter Megan Malia Leilani McClung.
Re McClung says, "Megan was very proud she was born in the islands."
They are here to receive the Hawaii Medal of Honor on her behalf.
Mike McClung explains, "The state is honoring the service men and women who have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is the second year they have done it and we are very honored they have chosen to this for our service men and women because they are the heros of this thing."
She was killed December 6th when a roadside bomb destroyed her vehicle. She is the highest ranking female marine killed in combat. Instead of her death, her parents focus on her zest for life. Megan was an talented athlete.
Mike McClung states, "She was a world class triathlete competed in the ironman here twice."
She volunteered to serve as a public affairs officer in Iraq.
Mike McClung adds, "Megan believed as we do that everyone deserves freedom of choice and she wanted to go back over there to make sure she helped the American forces bring freedom of choice to the people of Iraq."
Megan would have turned 35 Saturday.
Re McClung concludes, "I think Megan embodied the aloha spirit. What she was known for was her smile, her energy, her positive attitude, her sense of humor, that's all part of the aloha spirit."