Gregory Wedel-Morales, has finally come home, and thanks to the efforts of several Sapulpa citizens and law enforcement agencies, he was given the hero’s welcome he deserved.
A procession formed at Tulsa International Airport where Morales arrived, and included escorts from Oklahoma Highway Patrol and Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office to the county line, where it was replaced by Sapulpa Police Department and Creek County Sheriff’s Department.
The Sapulpa Fire Department held an oversized American Flag over the entire width of State Highway 66 (formerly New Sapulpa Road) as the procession drove under.
All along Mission, Taft and Main Streets, families had gathered by the road to pay their respects to a fallen soldier, bringing their flags and dropping their heads as he passed by.
Morales’ hearse was followed by a large group of motorcycles, who remained with them until they reached the cemetery, where they lined up to one side while Morales was carried out by military, an American flag draped over his casket, as his mother, Kim Wedel watched with his family as Morales was led into the Green Hill Funeral Home.
And to think, that just two weeks ago, there was an unknown chance that his family—and our community—would have even gotten the opportunity to bring him home in this way.
Greg Morales went missing at Fort Hood in August of 2019, and was found nearly a year later, his remains buried in a shallow grave near Killeen, TX.
Morales was initially listed as a deserter, having gone AWOL just days before he was scheduled to be honorably discharged, a fact that concerned his mother, who said that Morales was planning to attend school on his GI bill.
As Morales’ case began to get more notoriety—due in part to another investigation of the same kind into another solider at the same base—more attention began to be called to his situation, and state politicians began to get involved in having Morales stricken from the deserter list.
On Wednesday, July 15th, that wish finally came true, and it was announced that Morales would get to be buried with military honors. His mother said the news came as a result of “new evidence” from Killeen Police Department, but she said they didn’t share what that evidence was.
Wedel called the hometown procession “an amazing display of love and support.”
“I’m relieved he is home, and so proud of our town for showing up the way they did to bring him home,” she said.
Sapulpa Chamber Director Suzanne Shirey was with the Firefighters near the buffalo statue at the town’s entrance. “It is humbling to see the respect our community shows when we welcome our military family home to their final resting place.” she said. “We truly have an amazing town that values our citizens and our heritage.”
Morales’ funeral will be July 30th at 10:00 Am at the First Baptist Church in Sapulpa with Smokey Hurst officiating. He’ll then be buried in Fort Gibson National Cemetry.