Only certain people get the privilege of having their remains buried in the hallowed ground of Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia. They include honorably discharged members who died on active duty and their immediate family, military retirees and their immediate family, recipients of the Purple Heart, Silver Star and above, and any honorably discharged prisoner of war who died after Nov. 30, 1993.
To be among those who rest in peace overlooking the Nation’s Capitol is a high honor to those who served and sacrificed for their country when called upon.
Such an honor was recently given to a Hernando native who served two tours of duty in the Vietnam War as part of a 30-year career in the U.S. Army.
Col. Glenn Allen Doyle died of cancer in March of last year and last month, his remains were moved to its resting place at Arlington, complete with a 21-gun salute, a horse-drawn carriage with his remains draped by an American flag, and an honor guard accompanying him followed by members of his family.
“I get emotional when I think about it,” wife June Collier Doyle told the Independent Appeal newspaper of Selmer, Tenn., where Doyle and his wife lived since 1983. “It’s so hard to believe he’s gone, but I can’t be sad about the service because it’s such a wonderful tribute to him.”
Doyle’s DeSoto County connection is that he grew up in Hernando and graduated from Hernando High School and Mississippi State University before accepting a commission in the Army.
In addition to 30 years with the Army, Doyle also served four years with the Army National Guard.
While in Vietnam with his first tour of duty, starting in 1966 shortly after his marriage to June in 1965, he served in Saigon and was in charge of all publications for the country, before Doyle returned stateside to be the Adjutant General with the Army’s Training Center at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
A transfer took Doyle to Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana and then to Bangkok, Thailand, where he was a custodian for the Central Welfare Fund for two years.
From there, another tour of duty in Vietnam had Doyle serving as an advisor to the Ninth ARVYN Division. His family remained in Thailand with permission of the government during that time.
Back in the United States, Doyle was involved in intelligence threat analysis and a project officer for the Army Director of Intelligence, writing guidelines for data processing for the Pentagon and Army regulations for the Freedom of Intelligence Act. He retired and moved to Selmer, Tennessee in 1983.
It was in December of last year at June Doyle learned that Glenn’s remains would be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
“I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “This guy is going to get full honors, just like a president would.”
A fitting tribute for a native of DeSoto County, who served his country when it needed him and for that gave him two Army Commendation Medals with two oak leaf clusters, a Legion of Merit medal and two Bronze Stars with six oak leaf clusters.
All that, plus the thanks of a grateful nation and a forever resting place among the heroes of our country.
Bob Bakken is Managing Editor for the DeSoto Times-Tribune.