AFSBn-Benelux pays tribute to deceased employee with Humvee transport to his final resting place | Item










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Martin Van Dijk, Wiel Hendriks ‘best friend and colleague, secures Hendriks’ coffin in the back of a Humvee. The Humvee was used to transport Hendriks to his final resting place, at his request. Dijk and Hendriks, both employees of the Dutch Ministry of Defense, began working for the US military around the same time in 1986.
(Photo credit: Fons Ljpelaar)

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AFSBn-Benelux pays tribute to deceased employee with Humvee transport to his final resting place








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Wiel Hendriks’ grandchildren had the opportunity to explore an Army Humvee up close by Sgt. 1st Class Roberto Ortiz, non-commissioned officer responsible for the maintenance of the support operations of the Army-Benelux Field Support Battalion, on the day of their grandfather’s funeral.
(Photo credit: Fons Ljpelaar)

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EYGELSHOVEN from Netherlands – The Army Field Support Battalion-Benelux team recently paid a well-deserved tribute to one of their own as a sign of respect and admiration.

To honor and pay tribute to his legacy of service and his family, the 405th Army Field Support Brigade AFSBn-Benelux transported Wiel Hendriks via Humvee to his final resting place in Kerkrade, Netherlands, December 17.

Hendriks served 35 years in the United States Army in the Netherlands, first in Schinnen and then in Eygelshoven. The Dutch Ministry of Defense employee who worked as a heavy-wheel mechanic at the AFSB Army’s pre-positioned Stock-2 job site in Eygelshoven had one last request before his death. He wanted his body transported by Humvee, his favorite military vehicle, to a place where family, colleagues and longtime friends could pay their last respects.

“I met Wiel (Hendriks) on my first day of treatment when I arrived at the unit,” said Sgt. 1st Class Roberto Ortiz, NCO responsible for the maintenance of AFSBn-Benelux support operations. “He was such a nice guy, and we became good friends. He took my kids to a petting zoo and parks. He invited us to dinner and introduced us to Dutch cuisine.

“My daughters were 3, 6 and 8 at the time,” Ortiz said. “I told them Wiel (Hendriks) was their Dutch grandfather, and to this day they still believe him.”


AFSBn-Benelux pays tribute to deceased employee with Humvee transport to his final resting place








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Wiel Hendriks, a heavy vehicle mechanic assigned to the Army Support Battalion-Benelux in Eyglelshoven, the Netherlands, recently died. The Dutch Defense Ministry employee assigned to the US military for 35 years had a request. He wanted to be transported by Army Humvee to his final resting place.
(Photo credit: Courtesy U.S. Army photo)

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AFSBn-Benelux pays tribute to deceased employee with Humvee transport to his final resting place








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Sgt. 1st Class Roberto Ortiz, NCO responsible for the maintenance of the Army Field Support Battalion’s support operations, raises his hand to greet Wiel Hendriks, a heavy vehicle mechanic assigned to AFSBn-Benelux, at the funeral of Hendriks.
(Photo credit: Fons Ljpelaar)

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Born in Nieuwenhagen, the Netherlands, on Christmas Eve in 1955, Hendriks had the personality of Santa Claus – always generous and caring about others. He was also an expert in his technical craft.

“He once asked me about a broken seat belt on a vehicle,” Ortiz said. “I was quite surprised that Wiel (Hendriks) was able to take the seat belt mechanism apart and fix it instead of going the easy route and replacing it with a new one.”

“It was really my first meeting with him at work, and I was very impressed, as was everyone on our APS-2 site,” Ortiz said.

Martin Van Dijk is a colleague of Hendriks at APS-2 Eygelshoven who has always been impressed by his friend. They began working together for the military in 1986. When Hendriks was placed in the back of the Humvee, it was Dijk who helped secure his coffin.

Dijk also helped with the clearance process, as did Ortiz and others. They were able to get approval from the chain of command to use permission from the Humvee and the Dutch Ministry of Motor Vehicles to transport Hendriks to his final resting place in the army truck.

Dijk said that Hendriks’ last request was to travel in the Humvee and his last words were “remember me, remember me under the bright sun – how I was when I could do it all”.

The 405th AFSB is assigned to the US Army Sustainment Command and under the operational control of the 21th Theater Sustainment Command, of the US Army Europe and Africa. The brigade is headquartered in Kaiserslautern, Germany, and provides corporate materiel support to US forces throughout Europe and Africa – providing theater support logistics; synchronize procurement, logistics and technology; and leverage the US Army Materiel Command’s materiel business to support joint forces. For more information on the 405th AFSB, visit the official website at www.afsbeurope.army.mil and the official Facebook website at www.facebook.com/405thAFSB.

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