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Feature Stories December 22, 2011  RSS feed

Finding Headstone For Late WW I Soldier

Rep Helps Glendale Man Honor Grandfather


Rep. Bob Turner (at right) presents Michael Hogan of Glendale with an American flag and a certificate in honor of his late grandfather, Pfc. William Henry Hogan. Turner assisted the Glendale resident in having the Department of Veterans Affairs confirm his grandfather’s military service during World War I and acquire a military headstone. Rep. Bob Turner (at right) presents Michael Hogan of Glendale with an American flag and a certificate in honor of his late grandfather, Pfc. William Henry Hogan. Turner assisted the Glendale resident in having the Department of Veterans Affairs confirm his grandfather’s military service during World War I and acquire a military headstone. As the holiday season approaches and many eagerly await the exchanging of presents, Rep. Bob Turner and Glendale constituent Michael Hogan got a chance this past Sunday to exchange gifts a little early.

Earlier this month, Turner called Hogan to inform him that his office was able to successfully confirm the military service of the Glendale resident’s grandfather, Private First Class (Pfc.) William Henry Hogan, and help him secure a military headstone.

Since his father’s death in 1987, Michael Hogan has been unable to find the military records that his family once had. He contacted the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Personnel Records Center, who informed him that a fire in 1973 at a St. Louis storage facility destroyed 80 percent of all records and that they could not find anything on his grandfather.

Michael Hogan then contacted the VA Hospital in the Bronx where his grandfather resided upon his passing. The hospital told him that those records would be in storage somewhere in New Jersey.

Turner’s office worked with the Glendale man to track down that information and, once found, worked with the VA to confirm William Hogan’s service and secure a military headstone.

“I was fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to inform Mr. Hogan that his grandfather’s eligibility for a government headstone had been confirmed and was ordered on Nov. 29 to the St. Joseph Cemetery in Bedford, N.H. as requested and was delivered this past Friday, [Dec. 16],” Turner said.

The congressman presented on Sunday, Dec. 18, an early holiday present to Michael Hogan: the American flag, which every family of a U.S. Veteran receives upon the service member’s death. Michael Hogan gave the congressman his thanks on behalf of his family in return.

“When the congressman personally broke the news to me, I got all choked up,” Michael Hogan said. “My father really wanted this headstone for his father and passed that desire on to me. Right now, they are both probably looking down at me smiling. I would like to thank Congressman Turner and his staff for all their help in making this wish for three generations of Hogans come true.”

Turner stated that the outcome of this case is representative of the type

-SEE STONE ON PG. 89- of constituent services he has asked his staff to provide to residents of the Ninth Congressional District.

“William Hogan deserves proper acknowledgement for his service to our country,” Turner added. “Michael’s commitment to his grandfather is a testament to all veterans that their service will never be forgotten. I would like to thank Private First Class Hogan for his commitment and service to our country and Michael for his commitment and service to the memory of his grandfather.”