Maj. Gen. Harold Greene receives full burial honors at Arlington

Army 1st. Lt. Matthew Greene, the son of slain Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene, mourns at his father's casket after laying a rose at Arlington National Cemetery on Aug. 14, 2014. The two-star general was killed in an insider attack in Afghanistan on Aug. 5.


By C.J. LIN | STARS AND STRIPES Published: August 14, 2014

ARLINGTON, Va. — A cannon boomed across the hallowed grounds of Arlington National Cemetery on Thursday as a two-star general killed in an insider attack in Afghanistan was buried with full military honors.

The somber ceremony for Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene included a riderless horse following the caisson — an honor given to an Army or Marine Corps officer ranked colonel or above — and was attended by more than 100 mourners.

U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno presented the flag that had covered Greene’s casket to his widow, Susan Myers, a retired Army colonel. Odierno then presented three more flags to Greene’s son, Matthew, a first lieutenant in the Army; his daughter, Amelia; and his father, also named Harold.

The burial was preceded by a chapel service that was closed to media. Lt. Col. Juanita Chang, an Army public affairs officer, said the 650-seat chapel at Arlington was filled beyond capacity. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel attended and met with the family.

At the chapel ceremony, Matthew Greene told stories about his father, Chang said, and Amelia Greene spoke about her father’s love of New England sports, particularly the Boston Red Sox, who went the first 45 years of his life without winning the World Series. The Red Sox have since won three titles, and the family will attend a game at Fenway Park on Saturday and be honored after the 5th inning, Chang said.

Greene, 55, was the first general officer killed in an overseas attack since the Vietnam War. He was killed Aug. 5 when an Afghan army soldier emerged from hiding in a bathroom at Marshal Fahim National Defense University outside Kabul and opened fire on a delegation of U.S. and European military officers. The shooter was killed.

More than a dozen troops were wounded in the shooting, including a German brigadier general, a senior Afghan commander and nine U.S. troops.

Three of the nine were treated in Kabul and released, while the others were flown to Germany and treated at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center where they were in stable condition. Five were flown to stateside hospitals on Sunday while one remains at Landstuhl.

The DOD has not released their identities, but a Washington Post report said one of the American servicemembers was one of Greene’s aides, an Army captain who was shot several times and is paralyzed below the waist. He was identified as Capt. Jeremy Haynes by the Telegraph newspaper of Macon, Ga. The Telegraph also identified another of the wounded as Army Capt. Ibrahim Tantawi.

Greene joined the Army as a second lieutenant in the Army Corps of Engineers in 1980 served in various assignments including a platoon leader and intelligence officer before attending the U.S. Army War College, where he earned a master’s in strategic studies. He served consecutive Pentagon assignments before he was killed on his first combat tour in Afghanistan, where he was the deputy commander for training Afghan troops, a post he assumed in January.

His decorations included the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Army Commendation Medal.

Stars and Stripes reporter Josh Smith contributed to this report.

Twitter: @cjlinSS


Ret. Army Col. Sue Myers, the widow of slain Maj. Gen. Harold Greene, after accepting a folded flag from her husband's casket at Arlington National Cemetery on Aug. 14, 2014. Their son, Army 1st. Lt. Matthew Greene, sits beside her.