Body Of Oklahoma Airman Killed In Action To Return Home
OWASSO, Oklahoma - The body of an Oklahoma hero, killed in action overseas, will return home Wednesday morning.
Technical Sgt. Marshal D. Roberts, 28, of Owasso died in a rocket attack on March 11.
Because of COVID-19, the family has been forced to postpone his memorial service and isn't able to have the "normal" physical support of loved ones during their time of grief.
"For the family right now to feel so isolated with a pandemic where people are already afraid, to think that their loved one is possibly gonna get lost in the mix of what's going on will just add to the grief for the family," said Oklahoma Gold Star Wife, Jane Horton, who works with families of the fallen as a presidential appointee at the Pentagon.
Horton hopes Oklahomans will stand outside along the procession route, while following CDC guidelines of social distancing, with signs or flags to show the family they will not forget Roberts' sacrifice.
"What a beautiful thing to do to come together as a community in the great state of Oklahoma and the great city of Tulsa to show the family and his wife, Kristie, just how much we care and how much we remember those on the front lines that are still fighting, bleeding and dying for us," she said.
For those who can't make the procession, Horton said they post a message or video of appreciation on social media with the hashtag #TSgtMarshalRoberts.
"When a service member gives his life for his country the least we can do is honor and remember them and show our gratitude and it also helps the family heal,” said Horton. "Let's do all we can to make the family feel loved and know that he is not forgotten."
She also suggested parents could use Roberts's story to explain to children the importance of our country's service members.
"During this time of homeschooling, you can look up his story and tell his story to your children. Tell them the story of him and other heroes," she said.
The body of TSgt. Roberts is expected to arrive at the Tulsa Air National Guard Base at 9:15 tomorrow morning with a procession to Floral Haven to follow.
Below is their route:
(1) Exit base on 46th St. N. (eastbound) to HWY 169
(2) HWY 169 (southbound) to 61st St. exit
(3) 61st St. (eastbound) to 129th E. Ave.
(4) 129th E. Ave. (southbound) to Floral Haven Funeral Home