Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, the Pentagon and Arlington National Cemetery were the gathering places for celebrants of the life of Army Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene, who was killed Aug. 5 in Afghanistan.
The major general was the highest-ranking officer killed in combat since Vietnam. He died at a Kabul training facility when a gunman believed to be an Afghan soldier opened fire fatally wounding the general and injuring several others.
Following a memorial service attended by 760 fellow Soldiers, family members, friends and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at JBM-HH’s Memorial Chapel, Greene was laid to rest in the cemetery’s Section 60. Before Greene was buried, The Old Guard’s Presidential Salute Battery performed a cannon salute, and additional TOG units fired rifle volleys and played Taps. Four American flags were presented to Greene’s surviving family members, who offered touching personal farewells.
While the tears were plentiful, the remarks were brief during the final service for the engineer officer who also worked at the Pentagon during his 34-year Army career. At the Pentagon, a live video feed broadcasted the Memorial Chapel service to fellow servicemembers and civilians who worked side-by-side with the two-star general.
“I want you to remember: no plot in Arlington National Cemetery is ever forgotten,” presiding Chaplain Lt. Col. Jerry Owens said at the gravesite. “Each stone here builds a vision of liberty.”
At the conclusion of the service at Section 60, Army Chief of Staff Raymond Odierno presented the casketed flag to Greene’s widow, Col. (retired) Susan Myers. Family members each followed by laying a separate red rose on the casket.
A day before the funeral, Odierno paid tribute to Greene at a Pentagon memorial service.
“My guess is we probably could have done this [service] in a 10,000-seat stadium and filled the stadium today because there are so many people who care for Harry Greene,” the Army chief of staff said. “I know this is an exceptionally painful loss for both the Greene family and our Army family. I want to share with you that this has affected everyone who worked with and knew Harry. He left an indelible mark on everyone he came in contact with.”
Greene is also survived by his father, Harold; a son, Army 1st Lt. Matthew Greene; a daughter, Amelia and brothers, Jonathan and Steven.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Eva Greene.
Greene, who was a 55-year-old native of Schenectady, N.Y., served as deputy commanding general of the Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan when he was fatally wounded.
A separate memorial service for Greene was held last week at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.
See pages 6 and 7 for additional Pentagram coverage of the Greene funeral.