Monday, July 16, 2012

Plt.Sgt. Willie McNew

Willie "Bill" McNew was born January 7, 1926 in Speedwell, Tennessee and passed away on June 5, 2012 at the age of 87.

Bill proudly served his country in the United States Army for 24 years, serving in Occupied Germany, Korea and Vietnam.  Bill was a career tanker and retired in 1974 as a Platoon Sergeant, due to severe battlefield injuries he had sustained in Vietnam in December 1970.

Bill's numerous awards and decorations include the Soldiers Medal, the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star for valor, for heroism during what has been documented as the "Anonymous Battle", in March 1970.  The Presidential Unit Citation, the highest award  that can be awarded to a unit, was awarded to soldiers who participated in this battle by President Obama on October 20, 2009.

Funeral services were held on June 11 at Holy Family Catholic Church in Copperas Cove, Texas.  In attendance were the Patriot Guard Riders who formed a line of American flags at the entrance to the church to welcome the arriving family and friends.

After the service, the Riders led the funeral procession to the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery at Killeen, Texas.  Welcoming the family and friends were fifty American flags lining the roadway at the committal shelter.

After the flag draped casket was moved from the hearse to the shelter, the Riders formed a line of flags around the shelter as the Catholic Priest led the gathering in final prayers and performed the Rite of Committal.

The United States Army Honor Guard rendered full military honors.  The detail of five rifles fired three volleys of fire, representing Duty, Honor and Country.  The Army bugler played taps.

The American flag that draped the casket was folded into the traditional triangle and passed to an Army Non-Commissioned Officer.  He presented the flag to Erika, Bill's dear wife of 57 years, on behalf of a grateful nation and the United States Army as a token of appreciation for Bill's honorable and faithful service.

Platoon Sergeant Willie McNew was laid to rest on the wind swept plain as the American flag flew at half-staff, in his honor, at the top of the hill.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife, a son and two daughters, their spouses, three grandchildren and a host of other dear family and friends.

With thanks to Crawford-Bowers Funeral Home for biographical information and additional photograph.

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