Facey gets 'hero's burial' at Arlington

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In death, retired Army Col. Kenneth Facey has rejoined the brave men he was so honored to serve with while alive.

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Faye Facey looks at a portrait of her late husband, retired Army Col. Kenneth Facey, at her home. After a six-month wait, the Green Beret and veteran of three wars was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.  Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
Faye Facey looks at a portrait of her late husband, retired Army Col. Kenneth Facey, at her home. After a six-month wait, the Green Beret and veteran of three wars was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.

On April 26 -- after a grueling six-month wait for his family -- Facey was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery.

"He was a great American hero, and he got a hero's burial," said his widow, Faye Facey.

A Green Beret and veteran of three wars, Facey was honored with a full military burial that included a 21-gun salute and aerial pass by the Marine One helicopter.

A small memorial ceremony was held in Martinez after his death in October. Since then, his body had been kept in a mausoleum at Hillcrest Memorial Park Cemetery as the family awaited his burial.

"It was worth waiting for," Faye Facey said.

Her husband had requested the honor after watching President Reagan's funeral ceremony in 2004, she said.

Love of his country and his Green Berets was a driving force in Facey's life.

He joined the military out of high school and was part of the 106th Infantry Division as it marched into Germany.

His unit made a detour to Belgium to help stop the German assault at the Battle of the Bulge.

Later he served in Korea and two tours in Vietnam, where he trained 12-man detachments to secure villages near the Viet Cong's routes.

Facey would use those experiences to advise John Wayne as he filmed his 1968 movie The Green Berets . He was given a small speaking part in the film, in which he briefs Wayne on an operation.

At his funeral, former co-workers and even members of the Montagnards -- mountain tribesman who aided U.S. Special Forces operations in Vietnam -- came to Washington to pay their respects.

"They all came to show their extreme admiration to him and what he did for our country," Faye Facey said.

A portrait of the colonel in uniform hangs in the foyer of their house, and she plans to make a space for the flag from his burial to go underneath.

Faye Facey said she takes comfort in knowing they will be together again. When she dies, she will be buried with her husband at Arlington.

Military honors

Kenneth Facey joined the Army on June 4, 1943, and served for 28 years.

In that time he earned numerous medals and awards, including:

- Legion of Merit

- Bronze Star

- Armed Forces Reserve Medal with X Device

- Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster

- Army Achievement Medal with four Oak leaf clusters

- Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry

- Republic of Vietnam Honor Medal

- Vietnam Campaign Medal

- National Defense Service Medal

- Korea Service Medal

- United Nations Service Medal

- National Defense Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster

- Vietnam Service Medal Parachute Badge

- 10 Overseas Bars

- Jump Wings and Combat Infantry Badge

- Meritorious Unit Commendation

- Presidential Unit Citation

Comments (7) Add comment
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No_Longer_Amazed
5146
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No_Longer_Amazed 05/05/10 - 05:09 am
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A just and well earned honor.

A just and well earned honor.

soldout
1283
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soldout 05/05/10 - 06:05 am
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What an honor to have known

What an honor to have known this man who did so much for this country. May Faye be blessed in everyway for meeting his desire for burial in Arlington.

PhiloPublius
386
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PhiloPublius 05/05/10 - 08:47 am
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*Salutes*

*Salutes*

REDRIDER
134
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REDRIDER 05/05/10 - 09:01 am
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Honor In Deed:May God carry

Honor In Deed:May God carry you this message "Thanks Colonel Facey for your Patriotism for our Great Country". God Bless your Family. Thanks to all Active Duty ,Veterans and Especially Veterans that have Deceased.

stillamazed
1488
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stillamazed 05/05/10 - 09:33 am
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Well said redider....a very

Well said redider....a very deserving tribute.

mar
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mar 05/05/10 - 10:42 am
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Faye, I am so sorry to hear

Faye, I am so sorry to hear of your husband's passing and I'm sorry I only got to meet him the one time.
I know how proud you must be, as we all are to have had such a wonderful person serving for our country!!
Please, let me know if there is anything I can do.
Maria Z.

Just tired
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Just tired 05/05/10 - 10:46 am
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Weel done Sir.

Weel done Sir.

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