Six previously unclaimed NM veterans laid to rest

Posted at: 03/26/2013 6:37 PM
By: Joseph Lynch, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Six New Mexico veterans were put in their final resting place today. People they didn't even know paid their final respects.

KOB Eyewitness News 4 was there and spoke with those who made sure to honor these forgotten heroes.

U.S. Army Privates Joe Garcia and Gerald Ortiz; Private 1st Class James Lang and Specialist Michael Phillips; Marine Private Daniel Reid and Navy Seaman Albert Zarick.

All unclaimed by friends and their families, but not by the state of New Mexico. These were full honors for the forgotten and Vietnam Veterans Jerry L. Martinez, who was there, thinks it is only right.

"Because those soldiers went and sacrificed. They gave their blood and guts and everything that they had, in order to fight for their country," Martinez said.

Jake Trujillo, also a Vietnam veteran, played the bugle today and was proud to be here.

"You have to honor that they, even though they are unclaimed, they did serve for their country," Trujillo said.

This is the third year that the forgotten heroes have been honored this way in Santa Fe. All part of a strong conviction to see to it that those who served are treated with dignity- by someone. Echoed during the ceremony by Brigadier General Andrew Salas.

"You are not forgotten. That you are always in our hearts and our minds and our prayers. And we send you dear friends- dear comrades in arms, dear brothers of ours".

Governor Martinez gave the eulogy for the six forgotten US troops. Their cremated remains will permanently rest at the Veteran's Cemetery in Santa Fe.