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Virtus Hero - June of 2010


Gunnery Sergeant Joseph E. LeClaire Jr.


A friend of the Virtus Apparel team nominated Gunnery Sergeant Joseph E. LeClaire, Jr. to be a Virtus Hero of the Month.  What follows is the story of his service to our country and community, first as a Marine, and then as a Warrant Officer for the city of Philadelphia.  Joseph E. LeClaire, Jr. is a true American hero.


Joseph E. LeClaire, Jr., a 22 year Marine Corp Veteran who served in Viet Nam, Desert Storm and retired from the Marine Corps in 1995.  He was killed in the line of duty from bullet wounds as a Philadelphia warrant officer on March 19, 2004.  His death sparked a nationwide outcry for all law enforcement officers to be outfitted with protective gear.  He is buried at Arlington National Cemetary.


There is a Facebook Memorial page to Gunnery Sergeant LeClaire and it states:

Sergeant Joseph LeClaire was shot and killed when he and two other court officers attempted to serve a warrant on a wanted suspect. 

The officers arrived at the suspect's residence at 1:42 am and were admitted into the apartment by a female. When the officers entered the residence, the wanted man opened fire, striking Sergeant LeClaire in the head and stomach. One of the other officers was shot in the stomach and the third was shot in the hand.

At least one of the other officers was able to return fire and wounded the suspect as he attempted to flee. The man was taken into custody a short time later. Sergeant LeClaire was transported to Albert Einstein University Hospital where he succumbed to his wounds approximately 2 hours later.

Sergeant LeClaire was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. He had been assigned to the Court of Common Pleas for 9 years. He is survived by his wife and two grown children.

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