Son of local Post chaplain mourned
By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
On, May 28, during Atmore’s Memorial Day observance, Glenn Wardrop prayed for the families of servicemen and women who have been killed in the line of duty. Three days later, he became the recipient of similar prayers.
Wardrop, who serves as chaplain for Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7016 in Atmore, was notified May 31 that his son, a staff sergeant with the Alabama Army National Guard’s 1156th Military Police unit, was killed when the military vehicle he was driving crashed along I-65.
The fatal mishap happened around 9:43 a.m., when the 2009 military Humvee driven by SSG John Wesley Wardrop, 38, of Satsuma left the roadway and overturned at the interstate’s 63.7-mile marker, six miles north of Atmore.
Alabama State Troopers, who are still investigating the fatal crash, reported that Wardrop, who served four tours of duty overseas and was also a member of VFW Post 7016, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Another guardsman, 25-year-old Justin Cecil McCollough of Grand Bay, was taken by ambulance to D.W. McMillian Hospital in Brewton with unspecified injuries.
Billy Gates, commander of the local VFW post, said John Wardrop’s death, while tragic, occurred under circumstances that were fitting for a veteran of more than 20 years with the U.S. Army and the Alabama National Guard.
“[It was] SSG John Wardrop’s final mission,” Gates said. “His life was suddenly snuffed out doing what he loved, serving his country. He will be missed by his family and comrades. Fly high, my brother.”
John was preceded in death by his mother, Dorothy Wardrop. In addition to his father, he is survived by his wife of three months, Terri Hambrick Wardrop; their children, Madison Legg and Logan Wardrop; and his brothers, Andy King and Caleb Wardrop.
The serviceman’s final rites were conducted Monday, June 4, from Living Hope Church in Saraland, after which he was buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery. Residents of Saraland, Satsuma and other nearby communities reportedly lined Celeste Road as Wardrop was carried to his final resting place in a full military procession.
The family has requested that those who wish to honor the fallen soldier do so by making a donation to VFW Post 7016, 206 West Ashley Street, Atmore, AL 36502.