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Longtime Veterans Advocate Laid To Rest

Whether fighting in the heat of battle or fighting for the rights of veterans back home, fierce is a word that’s often been used to describe Major John Cleckner. The retired and highly decorated U.S. Army Green Beret has passed away. He died on May 11th at the age of 81. A career soldier, Cleckner signed on with the Army “Green Beret” in 1957 and served in the Special Forces for 22 years, earning a dizzying array of medals and citations. Following his retirement, Cleckner dedicated much of his energy to advocating for veterans issues. He was laid to rest in a funeral with full military honors Tuesday at the Northern California Veterans Cemetery. Major Cleckner helped in the fight to get that cemetery built, as well as the Veterans Home on Knighton Road and the Veterans Administration Medical Clinic on Hartnell Avenue. He earned several college degrees, and returned to school at the age of 62 to get a Legal Assistant Degree so he could help veterans with legal issues, and of course he never charged a dime for his services.