Bucks County Herald

Honors given at her Vietnem veteran husband’s funeral

STEVE SHERMAN

Penndel resident Marta Gross opened the Newtown Township supervisors’ meeting with an impassioned thank you delivered to the Newtown Township Police Department (NTPD) for its role in helping with funeral services for her late husband U.S. Marine Staff Sgt. Clement C. Gross III, who died in 2012.

Marta Gross and her family wanted to thank the NTPD, which coordinated with police departments in Northampton Township, Newtown Borough and Upper Makefield in making sure the sergeant received a memorial sendoff in line with the stature of his service to his country.

“What we had that day was something that was just phenomenal,” said Marta Gross. “You have no idea how much this meant to our family.”

Sgt. Gross had been a member of the First Battalion, Ninth Marine Division which suffered the highest percentage of its soldiers killed in action – so much so the unit was dubbed the Walking Dead – during the Vietnam Conflict.

“Eight hundred and 49 soldiers went in and only 49 made it back alive,” Marta Gross explained.

After the war, Sgt. Gross was forced to retire early from the military because of health problems he contracted after being exposed to Agent Orange.

“First, he lost his toes, then, his leg just below his knee,” Mrs. Gross explained.

“For years, our government never recognized (the risks associated with exposure to) Agent Orange,” she continued. “When they did, he had everything that was on (the list) – ischemic heart disease, cardiomyopathy, COPD, diabetes and stage four cancer.”

Clement Gross lived his final years on a $250-a-month military pension. His wife said the sergeant never wanted more than that from his country.

In other news, Interim Township Manager Micah Lewis was given the position on a permanent basis. Hired as assistant township manager in 2015, Lewis was appointed interim manager when former director Kurt Ferguson left to take the same position in Lower Makefield.

In police news, NTPD Detective Cpl. Dan Bartle and Detective Joe Camp were awarded commendations for their work in investigating an alleged bomb threat made by a female caller Sept. 25 at Bucks County Community College.

“In less than a day, they were able to restore normalcy to the school and have since made an apprehension in that incident.”

And for those keeping an eye on township spending, the 2019 Budget Presentation is available online atnewtownpa.gov. Additionally, Finance Committee Chair Jack Brod is asking that $40,000 be added to the budget as matching funds to a grant his group has its eye on that he says could potentially save taxpayers money down the road.




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