George Nelson of Westover, a Marine Corps veteran and newly appointed chief deputy at the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office, posted the following remarks Feb. 12. It refers to the military’s response to funeral arrangements for the late Robert Lee Wilcoxen, 76, of Marion Station, who died at home Feb. 7, 2015.
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Well I never thought I would ever speak this negative of my Marine Corps. But today has been a disgraceful day for my beloved Corps. As a proud Marine Corps Veteran I learned of an absolute travesty as far as I’m concerned for and by the Marine Corps.
Bradshaw Funeral Home in Crisfield is handling the service of a retired Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant that served 2 tours in Vietnam, received 2 Purple Hearts and numerous medals for Valor and Gallantry. This highly decorated Marine and his family requested, as he very well earned and deserves, full Military Honors at his funeral.
The funeral home contacted the Marine Corps at Quantico, Va., per protocol a couple of days ago. The funeral home was advised that this Gunnery Sergeant had earned the Honor and it would be carried out. They were forwarded to Fort Meade who also advised it was earned and would be carried out. There are Marines at Fort Meade even though it is primarily Army.
The funeral home contacted Fort Meade this morning to double check and verify the details with the funeral being on Friday. They were then advised that he would only receive the Flag folding and presentation to the family. Nothing else. No good reason as to why.
Quantico was recontacted and advised of the problem. They basically advised that if that’s what they said then that’s the way it is. Also advised that the widow could call them if she was not okay with the arrangements. Unprofessional! This is certainly not Full Military Honors and why did they wait till the day before to notify the funeral home of this? This absurd and ridiculous!
I am ashamed of the Marine Corps right now. Is this taking care of your own? What about all that Esprit de Corps, No Man Left Behind, We take Care of Our Own, etc. stuff they drill in our heads while we serve. Yeah, right, fine example! This is disgusting and unreal. This man is a hero and it’s no big deal to this Marine Corps.
I have been irate all day. I have telephoned Senator Mathias’s office, Senator Mikulski’s office, the Commandant of the Marine Corps Office and the Marine Corps Barracks at 8th and [as of] today so far the Senators are the only ones that have even tried to help. This is just so wrong!