Family moving fallen soldier's body

Relatives of Vietnam War hero say cemetery not kept up

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville soldier's body is being transferred to Washington D.C. because his family says he deserves a more honorable resting place.

The family of Specialist 5 Wyley Wright Jr., a Vietnam War hero, said the cemetery in which he's been buried hasn't been kept up.

Wright's body was exhumed Monday morning from Mount Olive Cemetery for his new final resting place at Arlington National Cemetery.

The body of Wyley Wright Jr. is being moved to Arlington National Cemetery.

Wright's children made the decision to move his body.

"It breaks my heart to know there are other families that are going to suffer the pain I did when I came and saw the condition of my father's grave," said Jackie Wright.

The family believes their father has earned a place of honor, so they exhumed his body from Mount Olive Cemetery, one of the segregated cemeteries of north Jacksonville that was not kept up.

"I think in the light in the fact that this is a segregated cemetery and my father didn't give a segregated sacrifice, he gave all of his life in service to this country," Jackie Wright said.

Wright, who was in the 114th Aviation Company Army, died March 9, 1964 as helicopter crew chief and honor guard.

He served the United States as a military "lifer" and died just two weeks before his scheduled return home.

It's been 50 years since his death, but the family said they want to continue to show him the respect he deserves, not just as their father, but for a man who served his country.

"It's important to not only respect the living but to respect the dead," Jackie Wright said.

The family is also moving their mother's body to join her husband at the Arlington National Cemetery on March 10.

About the Author:

Lifetime Floridian anchors weekends and reports weekdays on issues in Nassau and Baker counties and beyond.