GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Veterans sacrificed everything to serve our country, and now we have the chance to help honor one local man.
Martin Mortuary is part of the Dignity Memorial Homeless Veterans Burial Program, which serves homeless or indigent veterans who do not have a family to help. "We take care of arranging their funeral and taking care of their casket, all of our services are provided at no charge," said Richard Lewis, the general manager of Martin Mortuary.
On April 3, Staff Sergeant Michael William Bergman passed away and went into the care of Martin Mortuary. Unfortunately, he had no known next of kin. "It's sad when someone doesn't have family and they don't have any ability to take care of things for themselves. It's sad when anyone's like that. But especially someone that has served our country and has fought for our country, such as Mr. Bergman," said Lewis.
Sgt. Bergman was in the Air Force from 1968-1972. He received the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Air Force Good Conduct Medal, and Air Force Medal 900-3. "Since there wasn't going to be any family there, that maybe some strangers could come and show their support and respect to this gentleman," said Karon Carley, the president of Operation Interdependence.
Martin Mortuary reached out to Operation Interdependence to help get the word out about the funeral. "We appreciate every single one of them, I do. I appreciate everybody that serves, whether in the past, or now, or even in the future, because if it wasn't for them, maybe we wouldn't have some of the freedoms that we have today," said Carley.
Those at Martin Mortuary said by attending Sgt. Bergman's funeral, we can remember how he served us. "We just feel like that's very important to honor them for their sacrifices that they made," said Lewis.
Sgt. Bergman's funeral will be this Wednesday, April 18, at 10:00 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery of Western Colorado. He will receive full military honors.
If you cannot make the funeral, those with Operation Interdependence ask you to take a moment of silence in your day, and remember all that our veterans have done for us.