Posted on Oct 5, 2015
CW2 Battalion Maintenance Officer (Bmo)
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Recently, I had the honor and privilege to escort one of my Soldiers home to Cincinnati, OH. SPC Darius D. Wilkinson was killed on 11 September 2015 from injuries sustained during a motorcycle accident. I was on BDE Staff Duty that night. My 1SG called me at about 0130 asking for me to meet him in front of our Company. Shortly thereafter, my CO arrived. He seemed rather shaken so I asked him if everything was ok. He stated that he could not discuss the situation and instructed me to go about completing the work I was doing. At about 0330, he called me back into his office to give me the news. I was crushed. What a great young man SPC Wilkinson was, and still is. Being his Maintenance Officer, my CO gave me the opportunity to volunteer to take him home. I just looked up and said, "Absolutely." Well, that week was busy meeting with the CAC, meeting with SPC Wilkinson's family and preparing for travel. I come to discover that escorts are NO LONGER authorized to complete with their mission. A new policy has surfaced that requires honors escorts to "sign over" their Soldier to a stranger. I find this absolutely outrageous and a total disrespect to the memory of the fallen. I was prepared to pay out-of-pocket to stay for the funeral. The end of my mission. Being there at the graveside with his family, as his Leader one last glance at the casket. Being there for his wife, mother, brothers, sisters as a Leader is charged with on a daily basis. Now that it is not fiscally sound, the Army has done away with it. Stripping this right, this duty, this honor from a Leader is 100% against what I have been taught during my short 11 year tenure. The policy makers and green suitors should be ashamed of themselves for even allowing this topic to be given a breath. I truly hope that you all write your congress person. Let them know that their sons and daughters need the Leaders of this great Army to execute their mission to the fullest. Mine being getting my Soldier home to his family. Stay safe and do not forget, we are all Leaders in one shape or form. Let us not forget what the right thing is. Thank you.
Edited 4 y ago
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SFC Joe S. Davis Jr., MSM, DSL
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CW2 (Join to see) thanks for the well profound heart felt thread. I am with you 100%. Duty Honor Country is what's it about. Never let anybody take our Army Values from those whom have sacrificed so much. "United we stand divided we fall."
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SSG(P) Patient Service Tech
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Hell Sir, just take some Leave and escort him anyway. Screw that POS policy. That has to be one of the DUMBEST policy decisions I have heard of.
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SSG Michael Scott
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Yes sir, you are so right.
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