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Police, military honor terminally ill veteran

By Greg Ellison

(July 9, 2020) More than 50 vehicles paid tribute to retired Anne Arundel County Police Cpl. Doug Juckett, 80, in a drive-by ceremony Monday at the Macky & Pam Stansell House Coastal Hospice in Ocean Pines.

Charlie Dorman, past president with the Ocean City-Berlin Optimist Club, helped organize the gathering of law enforcement and military officials for his longtime friend, who is now in hospice care.

“I’ve known Doug for 35 years,” he said. “We’ve had some good times.”

The affair came into shape after Juckett’s wife, Dottie, contacted Anne Arundel County officials seeking participants for the ceremony.

“He’s a retired police officer of 30 years from Anne Arundel County,’ she said. “I reached out and Sgt. George Coking called back and said they be honored to lead the procession down here, which they did.”

Coking took pole position on Monday and was the first vehicle to pull up to the Stansell House front porch to greet Juckett.

“He got out of the car with a mason jar with flowers,” she said. “He handed them to my husband and said, ‘these are very special and I picked these … from my garden to deliver to you.”

Juckett, a cold-war era U.S. Army veteran who served as military police from 1959-1962, was honored this year through the Ocean City Elks Lodge #2645 Hometown Heroes program.

Juckett’s Hometown Hero banner is currently flying on the Boardwalk near the Purple Moose Saloon on First Street.

Dorman said in addition to members of the Anne Arundel Police, allied agencies joining the vehicle procession included the Ocean Pines Police and Fire Departments, OCPD, Berlin Police, and the Worcester County Sheriff’s office.

“We had Army National Guard Major Gen. Janne Brickhead Morton there because he was in the army,” he said. “His picture is one of the ones hanging on the Boardwalk this summer.”

Dorman credited Ocean City American Legion #166 member Jimmy Flag for coordinating the presence of Army officials.

Dorman said Juckett, who retired in 1990, was an active member of the Ocean City-Berlin Optimist Club.

“He did everything with the Optimist Club,” he said. “Anything that they had to do … he was just that kind of guy.”

In addition to Dorman, other Optimist Club cohorts taking part on Monday included Roger Pacella and Joe Hammond.

“You could count on him anytime for anything until he got where he couldn’t drive,” Dorman said.

Dorman said Juckett also lent assistance for numerous years organizing the annual Ocean City Seaside Boat Show, which is sponsored by the Optimist Club.

Photo courtesy Roger Pacella
Members from the Ocean City-Berlin Optimist Club, Ocean City Elks Lodge #2645 and Ocean City American Legion #166, along with numerous police agencies and military representatives, formed a lengthy procession outside the Macky & Pam Stansell House Coastal Hospice during an emotional ceremony for 30-year veteran retired Anne Arundel County Police Cpl. Doug Juckett on Monday.

“In the boat show, he was also the guy that took care of my hospitality room,” he said.

Close to 20 family members stood beside Juckett, who was wheeled out on the hospice front porch to welcome the crowd of well-wishers Monday afternoon.

Dottie Juckett said her husband was in good spirits during the ceremony and fully comprehended the wealth of glad tidings.

“Everybody in the cars was crying,” she said. “The whole thing was emotional, not just for me and my husband, everyone was very emotional.”