"Forgotten Hero" honored at Biloxi National Cemetery

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - By Steve Phillips – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - He was a Purple Heart recipient who served his country in three different wars. Wednesday morning, Robert Earl Moody was honored and remembered at Biloxi National Cemetery.

A small group of people, who never met the man, gathered to pay their respects at the "Forgotten Hero" ceremony.

The 77-year-old Moody died five years ago after battling Parkinson's Disease. He served his country in World War II, Korea and two tours of duty in Vietnam. He also helped escort the bodies of U.S. soldiers to their final resting places.

The Biloxi National Cemetery gave this hero a proper goodbye. Surrounded by silent stones, a small group remembered a forgotten hero. The ashes of Robert Moody will be laid to rest in the field of patriots at the national cemetery.

Following the traditional 21 gun salute, the honor guard solemnly and respectfully folded the flag.

Barbara Moody said her husband was outgoing and happy go lucky, with an infectious laugh. The native New Englander joined the Navy Reserve as a young man and was activated for World War II.

"He was wounded in Korea, and then escorted bodies all over the country after Korea. He got out of the service again, then got back in. He was in Vietnam twice. In fact, the second time he was 41 years old, when the average age was like 19," she recalled.

"We read in sacred scripture from the gospel of Matthew:  Come you who are blessed by my Father and inherit the kingdom prepared from the very beginning of creation," said Catholic deacon Dick Henderson, who led prayers at the cemetery service.

Representatives from military groups and civic organizations attended the brief, but heartfelt service. They were invited by Biloxi National Cemetery, which wanted to assure that the veteran's widow was not alone for this final farewell.

"Oh, I'm so pleased with these people who came out. I just can't even begin to say how pleased I am.  It was lovely, 'cause I was kind of worried about having to come out here alone," said Barbara Moody.

"So, let us commend our brother Robert that the Lord may embrace him in peace and raise him up on the last day," the deacon prayed.

Barbara Moody now lives in Hattiesburg, but she and husband Robert were longtime residents of Waveland. They'd been married 45 years when he died in 2005.

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