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Old 7 March 2018, 10:25
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SFG/Arlington Burial Disaster.... Hall of Shame

After much debate with myself about how I wanted to get this out to everyone .... I decided to share.

I announced the tragic and sudden death of SFC Jamie “Jay” Otts, 3rd SFG(A) most recently assigned to, the Special Warfare Training Group (A). Yesterday, March 6, 2018, was suppose to be his burial at Arlington. Many people arrived from all over... Personally because of the recent death of one of my fellow officers, I had to fight with my chain of command to be there yesterday. I arrived at the early morning hours around 0230. I awoke, gathered up some of the guys and we arrived with the surviving wife and family to be a part of the escort. We got to Arlington, and we went to the mourning room in the admin building. Everyone else I imagine went to the site or wherever they went.

His services were scheduled to begin at 1100 hours. At 1115, I recall looking over at some of the guys and wondering why it hadn’t started yet and how odd that was. At 1130, the wife and kids and Jay’s surviving brother (another GB) were taken out by Arlington staff. When they returned, Jay’s brother was flipping out (rightfully so). The kids were crying and hysterical, and the director of Arlington informed us all that Jay’s body was still in Fayetteville, NC. The time was around 1145 that this notice was given to us. All she (Arlington director) could say at that time was sorry about it, and services will be tomorrow (March 7) at 0900 hours.

Now..... the casualty officer was nowhere to be found. My understanding was he wasn’t even in town. No member from his chain of command was present at the time this notice was given, and in the after math, the SWCC command is now blaming all of this on the funeral home. I got it, they were in charge of transporting the body. But Special Forces failed Jay. No one apparently was going to be a part in his escort, no soldier with his body, no soldier planned going ahead of his body, nothing, no comms were done appropriately making sure that this stuff was handled, apparently no idiot dipshit realized that his body hadn’t arrived the night before nor the morning of. The only answer that I’ve received so far is a complete lack of accountability, 110% blaming only the funeral home, and a nonchalant attitude that his death wasn’t combat related so hey... “it is what it is, sorry about it”.

If I had known how little care, how little regard... how little respect would be given to Jay by these folks that worked over him as his command.... if I had known how careless and reckless they were intent on being or inevitably became... I would have personally taken my patrol vehicle, my team guys, and we would have escorted his body ourselves and given Jay police honors because apparently no one else cared to give him that respect from his command. Aside from the obvious nightmarish, disastrous, heartbreaking moment... Jay’s hysterical and inconsolable childrens reactions will forever be engraved and enscribed on my mind and in my heart. The reaction of his brother and his wife was absolutely horrific. Nonwithstanding, the Army robbed people like me, and people like Jay’s very close former teammates the ability and the opportunity to bury him. As many of us had to leave yesterday and can’t be there this morning. It is a moment of our lives that we can never get back.

I have some of the names of those responsible. Because I believe in being professional, I will not list them here. I hope their deaths are the most horrific, painful, slow and miserable deaths possible. I hope that no one is standing at their grave when they go out. I hope they realize that many Green Berets know exactly who they are, and are pursuing this to the highest and fullest extent possible. This last 45 days has been a complete nightmare for me personally with so many deaths and tragic events at work. Being there yesterday, was the first time I felt peace and happy... the first time I felt some healing coming. Then the moment was robbed from me and many with me, just that quickly. No number of “I am sorries” from those idiots can make this right.

The ONLY reason I am telling any of you this... is so that you know what actually happened in case you hear, and so that for those of you who wouldn’t hear... hear it. This is what happened to an 18 year service members of the US Army and Special Forces. Unforgivable, and it was the unimaginable. Please share and tell those you know before the Army starts playing cover up as they already are. I served in the Army for a short time. I was intent on going back. Now I can’t imagine that I could ever serve for them again.

I love you Jay. I heard your voice laughing at us all yesterday on my long ride home. I miss your face.
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Old 7 March 2018, 10:38
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That is unfortunate and unacceptable. I'm writing as an SF soldier, leader, and someone fortunate enough to have known Jay.

Sado, I believe that this will be handled appropriately by the Army and the leadership of the Special Forces Regiment, and there will be accountability. I don't want to see the memory of a good man tied to this. Remember, the internet is forever, and he deserves to be remembered for how he lived, not what happened after his death.
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Old 7 March 2018, 10:54
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When our battalion lost a captain to a non-combat injury, I was assigned as the casualty assistance officer. The location of the body, as well as the transportation coordination with the funeral home, was my responsibility. Although I was not directly responsible to coordinate between the funeral home and Arlington, it was my job that this coordination took place and that all involved knew these critical times and dates accordingly.

I can't imagine that these responsibilities have changed. The events you describe are horrible.
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Old 7 March 2018, 10:58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gavin View Post
That is unfortunate and unacceptable. I'm writing as an SF soldier, leader, and someone fortunate enough to have known Jay.

Sado, I believe that this will be handled appropriately by the Army and the leadership of the Special Forces Regiment, and there will be accountability. I don't want to see the memory of a good man tied to this. Remember, the internet is forever, and he deserves to be remembered for how he lived, not what happened after his death.

I know. I am sorry “Gavin”. I just want someone to pay for this. I am sorry. Yesterday I had to pull off the side of the road leaving Arlington. I’m not even 30 yet and my blood pressure got so highly vision started going and I got dizzy.
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Old 7 March 2018, 11:09
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That was unsat, and poor form. SF or no SF, he was a brother in uniform and service, and like all of us, earned the honor for which he and his family were shafted.

I am hopeful it gets unfucked. I am sorry you and the family had to go through that.
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Old 7 March 2018, 11:17
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I have to say that in my experience this is highly irregular for SF. I have always been impressed at the lengths they go to honor their dead. Same for the 75th. I very much doubt that this was intentional, but more likely just a whole lot of balls got dropped at once.
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Old 7 March 2018, 19:04
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I have to say that in my experience this is highly irregular for SF. I have always been impressed at the lengths they go to honor their dead. Same for the 75th. I very much doubt that this was intentional, but more likely just a whole lot of balls got dropped at once.
True, and sadly, this aint thier "first load of pumpkins" though... No excuse...Totally unsat...Shame on them
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Old 7 March 2018, 21:37
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It will come down to all the bad weather, back East. As for the casualty officer nowhere to be found, that is uncalled for. I have known several casualty officer, an they all ways had a back up plan. During Nam, there would be one or Two Officers that were used as a back up, that was there main job. SADO sorry for your lost.
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Old 7 March 2018, 21:55
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Sado, Godspeed to you and Jay's crew. While this is inexcusable, we remember our brothers how they served and not how they passed. Your story of Jay is truth of that. Let us know what we can do.
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Old 8 March 2018, 03:40
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Sado prayers for you and Jay’s family especially his kids.

Know that I stood up with hand over my heart and thanked him for his service and prayed for each and every one you mentioned in your OP.

I am sorry for your loss and how this was handled. My thoughts and prayers are with you and the family.

Godspeed.
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Old 8 March 2018, 10:40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Proeliator 37 View Post
When our battalion lost a captain to a non-combat injury, I was assigned as the casualty assistance officer. The location of the body, as well as the transportation coordination with the funeral home, was my responsibility. Although I was not directly responsible to coordinate between the funeral home and Arlington, it was my job that this coordination took place and that all involved knew these critical times and dates accordingly.

I can't imagine that these responsibilities have changed. The events you describe are horrible.

You are absolutely right. I was a CAO enough times to know how it was done back then and I believe that is a place to start the clean-up.
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Old 8 March 2018, 15:00
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Very sorry for your loss.

It sounds as if the support and attention that he should have received was given less than the full attention that it deserved because, perhaps, it was a non-combat death.

That has never made any sense to me, given how dangerous even training missions can be. Hopefully this will serve as a wake up call to the chain of command so that in the future, nobody else will suffer from their apparent neglect.
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Old 8 March 2018, 16:06
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There needs to be an IG Investigation done on this. I will submit one if it is OK with Administrator
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Old 8 March 2018, 16:09
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Originally Posted by wildman43 View Post
There needs to be an IG Investigation done on this. I will submit one if it is OK with Administrator
It's best to allow the units involved, and the chains of command involved, to deal with this.
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Old 8 March 2018, 16:39
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I thought The Old Guard done all of those burials.
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Old 8 March 2018, 16:46
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I thought The Old Guard done all of those burials.
They are the unit at Arlington, but not responsible for any of the process which went wrong in this case.
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Old 9 March 2018, 00:17
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I had lunch with a buddy today who guaranteed me that there is a full blown investigation underway. I also spoke to House of Reps Boles, Moore County, my own Sheriff, a handful of police chiefs, commanders from NCSHP, every single sheriff in the surrounding area save for Hoke, my elected senator, and tomorrow two local congressman who I know well from the GOP. I also sent notice to most in my own GOP party which is quite a few important names.... several judges are aware including two superior court judges (one who is former Army himself).... every single green beret I know from every single group... their wives and families, several high ups at USASOC, provost Marshall’s Office, MP’s... list goes on and on. It’s viral right now on FB from my own page, and several dozens of others who also posted it the same morning I did.

I promised Jay on the ride home in my prayers that every single green beret across this nation would hear about this by the close of that day... and every single person I knew who has any rank, power or authority would also hear. The ride from Arlington to home is just over 5 hours for me. That was 5 hours plus traffic for me to make phone calls plus the time I took when I arrived home.

I don’t make promises I cannot keep. Jays wife’s tears and sobbing will never leave my mind, and her requests for someone to be held responsible. Jay would do it for whomever if he were alive right now. And he would be infuriated. The tabs of two particular idiots in question should be removed from their chest and sleeves immediately and they should pray to God our paths never cross.

On a different note... thank you all for your support, kind words of affection, and outreach. Please keep his family especially his wife in your thoughts and prayers. Jay was finally laid to rest yesterday, 7 March 2018. Many of us weren’t there but a few captured some pretty decent photos and videos. I will travel to see him in the next few days.
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Old 9 March 2018, 00:49
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You go girl!
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