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Viral female soldier who withstood pouring rain for military burial has been identified

Fort Rucker-based Warrant Officer on funeral detail. (Shawn Wilkerson/Facebook)
May 14, 2019

An unidentified Army officer went viral on Friday for her exemplary discipline during a funeral detail.

On May 10, Shawn Wilkerson sent out a plea on Facebook to help locate the Army warrant officer from Fort Rucker who attended a flag ceremony for a family member’s funeral. “Teammates please help me share this photo until it reaches this Warrant Office located at Ft Rucker!,” he wrote.

The post included a photo of the warrant officer, who Wilkerson says showcased possibly the best display of discipline. During the funeral, it was storming overhead, and the tarp hung to shield the mourners from the rain collapsed, dumping gallons of water onto the head of the warrant officer who never faltered.

“My wife’s grandfather passed away and this warrant officer showcased possibly the best display of discipline I have witnessed in my 18.5 years,” Wilkerson said.

“During the flag ceremony it was absolutely storming!! Thundering, lighting and a strait down pour. My brother in law Quintin Brunson attempted to cover her with an umbrella but the wind was too much!! The cover above was holding water and toward the end of the flag folding ceremony about 3 gallons of water hit her in the face with 20 miles per hour wind. Without a blink or any loss of composure she finished her duties to our fallen brother!!!! Best display of what soldiers do for each other!!!!!!!” he added.

“She deserves to be recognized for her actions that day!!!! The fact is her display was talked about the rest of the service and weekend and still today!!!! At the conclusion they marched away and I could not reach them in time!! Please help me show her how much she meant to our family!!!!!! If anyone knows her please have her reach out to me!!!!!,” Wilkerson wrote.

The post received thousands of comments and shares.

The outreach eventually paid off as several commenters said they knew the name of the officer.

Facebook user Elliott ‘Bill’ Ham reached out to Wilkerson saying, “Shawn Wilkerson that is WO1 Abigail Walter, she is a classmate of my son at Fort Rucker. DM me and I will get you in touch with her. She isn’t on FB.”

Chad Tackett commented and said, “I shared to my page and some one says that’s WO1 Walter! She’s a flight student!”

Wilkerson confirmed among the comments that he had been in contact with her commander.

Steve DevilDog Isaacs offered some hope on Facebook when he replied, “Shawn Wilkerson, I’m glad to be able to report both WO1’s pictured have been properly noted and are being recognized by several levels of their respective command teams. Media will be present this afternoon as they will be presented with unit coins. This is only the beginning. My understanding is more formal recognition is in process.”