Family of fallen Fort Hood soldier Gregory Morales wants him buried with military honors

Each time the family of former Fort Hood soldier, Pvt. Gregory Morales, gets news about his status with the military, it brings them more pain.

Morales was reported missing from base on Aug. 20.

His mother, Kim Wedel, said he was set to start his discharge paperwork the following day.

"Greg had told me September 10 was his last day in the military, and he was going to come home and visit," Wedel said. "Then, he had plans to go enroll in a technical school in Galveston or Houston on how to work on big windmills. So, this was a guy who had plans, who wanted to use his GI bill to get this training. It made absolutely no sense for him to disappear."

Ten months later, law enforcement found remains about five miles from Fort Hood that they determined to be his.

Killeen police suspect foul play in his death. An autopsy is being performed.

Currently, his status is listed with the military as a deserter, which prevents him from a burial with military honors.

Wedel hoped to bury her son next to his uncle, and eventually, his grandfather at Fort Gibson in Oklahoma.

"My dad just keeps saying, 'If he's not alive, at least he can be buried with me and I can take care of him,'" Wedel said while crying.

She wants his status changed with the military so he can get the recognition she believes he deserves.
"He earned multiple awards," Wedel said. "He served in Kuwait, and he served in Korea all in four years. He did what he had to do and he doesn't deserve to be treated like this by the military."

Fort Hood issued the following statement Wednesday in regards to the incident:

"We are deeply saddened by the passing of PV2 Gregory Morales. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and fellow troopers as they grieve his passing. The unit is fully cooperating with the local authorities who are leading the investigation. We cannot take further action on his status until an autopsy is complete and the cause of death and the time of death are determined. Unit leadership is in contact with his Family and providing support, as permitted by Army policy, during this difficult time. We will remain in contact with the Family and investigators throughout this process."

The Bell County Justice of the Peace would not release any information about his autopsy results or the status of the criminal investigation.

U.S. Rep. John Collins has been working with the family to get Morales status changed.

Collins' office released the following statement regarding Morales' death:

"Pvt. Morales had a positive career in the Army and deserves to be laid to rest with the appropriate military honors. At this time, I've reached out to Ft. Hood to advocate on behalf of Gregory's mother and I look forward to getting an outcome that honors this soldier's service to our nation."

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