MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH) – The crack of a 21-gun salute rang through the crisp fall air on Friday morning at the Connecticut State Veterans Cemetery in Middletown.
A funeral was held for six Connecticut veterans who had no one left to bring them to their final place of rest.
A state program that started in 2009 guarantees if no next of kin can be found, the remains of Connecticut veterans will be buried with full military honors.
With the help of the Connecticut Department of Veteran Affairs and the Connecticut Funeral Directors Association, the latest six came home.
Wilfred A. Carpentier served in World War II. He died in 1972 in Derby.
Robert L. Coston Sr. served in the Army from 1951 to 1953. He died in East Hartford in 2014.
Michael Joseph Gruttadauria Jr. was in the Navy in 1967 and 1968. He died in 2021 in Hartford.
Joseph Henry O’Brien II spent a decade in the Air Force starting in 1951. He died in Southbury, two years ago.
Bernice Greenstreet Record served two years in World War II. She died in Cheshire in 2007. Her husband Roland H. Record served with her in World War II. He died in Waterbury in 1998.
“I am particularly touched with these six veterans here, who perhaps didn’t have a family, to claim their remains, I feel and I think Susan feels and all of us feel that we are their family. And that’s why we’re here today,” Gov. Ned Lamont said.
All six veterans received Connecticut wartime service medals and a military funeral to ensure they would not be forgotten.
“We make a statement by being here. That we refuse to forget, we refuse to abandon, any man or woman who has worn the uniform, served this country,” US Sen. Richard Blumenthal said.