A Sapulpa soldier's family is fighting to give him a military funeral after he went missing from a Texas military base last year.
Gregory Wedel-Morales went missing last August. His remains were found last month near Fort Hood in Killeen, TX.
Greg’s mother, Kim Wedel, said she is still fighting to give her son a proper burial, but Saturday was about putting aside that fight for a moment and remembering Greg's life.
"The last (few) months, I've had a lot of ups and downs,” Wedel said. “You think you're making a lot of progress and then it's not. Every day is just a fight and it's hard to have time to grieve. It's hard to have time to spend with family because you're just so busy fighting everything.”
A large group of people came out to Kelly Lane Park Saturday evening in Sapulpa. Greg's mother, brothers and friends spoke about Greg. The group lit candles and released balloons.
Wedel said her family has been waiting almost a month for Greg's autopsy results from the army. The army described her son as a "deserter” when News on 6 spoke to Wedel in June.
Greg’s “deserter” status means he cannot receive a proper military burial.
Wedel’s son spent his last four years fighting for his country. She feels now it is her duty to fight for him to be reinstated.
The 1st Cavalry Division spokesman released a statement to News on 6.
"Upon discovering PV2 Morales' absence, the unit conducted a thorough search of the area with volunteers and local law enforcement officials,” the statement said. “Numerous calls were made by friends to attempt to locate him. The 1st Cavalry Division is very grateful for the information that led to the discovery of his remains and provided a measure of closure to his family and friends. We remain engaged with PV2 Morales' family and local law enforcement and will continue to provide updates as they become available. Based on the outcome of the investigation, we will take appropriate administrative action.”
The spokesman also said it is military protocol to label all missing soldiers as AWOL.
Greg's family has a petition with 20,000 signatures to change the protocol.