Medal of Honor recipient relocated to Leavenworth National Cemetery, receives full military honors

13 News at 10pm
Updated: Jun. 4, 2021 at 6:13 PM CDT
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Leavenworth, Kan. (WIBW) - A Medal of Honor recipient now has a proper resting place at Leavenworth National Cemetery. He was laid to rest Friday, with a proper military ceremony that he never received.

Six years ago, three women discovered a family connection that brought them to the grave-site of their great, great grandfather.

“They didn’t even know they had a medal of honor great, great grandfather until about six years ago and that was their first trip out here and they saw what conditions he was in, said Michelle Cebe”

Sergeant Robert Mcphelan, was buried in Potters Field in Leavenworth.

Mcphelan was a Sergeant in the Army during the Indian Campaigns and earned his medal for gallantry in action from William T. Sherman.

His family knew their hero deserved more. “We found his grave in the sludge the muddy muck and I said I wish we could move him out loud and six years later someone heard me,” said McPhelan’s Great-Great Granddaughter, Lori Rogers.

After learning about McPhelan’s story, Michelle Cebe with Wreaths Across America worked to give him the sendoff he deserved. “We had to prove eligibility, you don’t get to just be buried in a national cemetery without proving eligibility so I was able to find enlistment paper work, copies of it and payroll records from Fort Leavenworth because that’s where he was stationed.”

Armed with information, Sergeant Robert McPhelan finally received eligibility to be buried in a national cemetery.

“How we have so much love for a man whose been gone for more than a hundred years before we were born, we don’t know but we love this man so much and we appreciate everyone one of you and thank you so much,” said Rogers.

“The theme for wreaths across America 2021 is live up to their legacy and I think we’ve accomplished that,” said Cebe.

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