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Marshalltown native receives posthumous promotion

Webber

One year after his death, Mason Webber of Marshalltown was promoted to U.S. Army Specialist.

His mother, Tonya Grefe, said the promotion was provided on Monday and was something her son had earned.

“It is a miracle upon itself,” she said. “I am thankful my son is being respected. He gave his life for his country and I am thankful people were on track to get this for him. He was a special kid, a really good person.”

Webber died in September 2019 while conducting maintenance on a Bradley Fighting Vehicle at Fort Hood in Texas. He lived in Marshalltown prior to enlisting in the Army in March 2018.

Grefe said there was no ceremony in the promotion. Rather, she arrived at the National Guard Armory, an Army official read the certificate and gave it to her, apologizing to Grefe for her loss.

The certificate will sit in Grefe’s house, in an area she dubbed “Mason’s Corner.”

“I have pictures of him, some of his ashes, a flag, his Army accomodations and some candles,” she said. “It’s my tribute to him, where everything about him goes.”

Webber died one day before he was due to receive his Specialist promotion. Following his death, Grefe said she was told he would not receive it.

“It was like a slap in the face, because he was killed due to leadership negligence,” she said. “His death was preventable. Someone — who wants to remain anonymous — caught his story and pushed it to the Pentagon and they gave him the promotion.”

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Contact Lana Bradstream at lbradstream@timesrepublican.com

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