Master Gunnery Sgt. Michael Williams, the senior enlisted Marine in mortuary affairs, poses at Camp Foster, Okinawa, Japan, May 8, 2019. CARLOS M. VAZQUEZ II/STARS AND STRIPES
Master Gunnery Sgt. Michael Williams, the senior enlisted Marine in mortuary affairs, poses at Camp Foster, Okinawa, Japan, May 8, 2019. CARLOS M. VAZQUEZ II/STARS AND STRIPES

‘No harder duty, no greater honor’: Marines take care of their own from battlefield to resting place

by Carlos M. Vazquez II
Stars and Stripes

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Master Gunnery Sgt. Michael Williams, a 25-year reservist, is the most senior enlisted Marine in his occupational field, mortuary affairs.

In civilian life a plant manager for a chemical company, Williams, of Georgia, is one of 200 in his unit, the Personnel Retrieval and Processing Company, the only one of its kind in the Marine Corps.

“People ask me why I do it,” he told Stars and Stripes on May 8. “The price of doing war is people die, and if it were me, I would want to know that somebody is taking care of me and taking me back home to my family, so they could grieve and get some closure.”

Williams recently travelled to Okinawa, Japan, to take part in a command-and-control exercise, MEFEX 19, with III Marine Expeditionary Force. Williams was there to educate sailors and Marines about the mission of mortuary affairs and brief commanders on their responsibilities and the support available to them, according to a Marine Corps statement Monday.

Read more at: https://www.stripes.com/1.581033

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