Local U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officers honor veteran who lost battle with COVID-19

As the coronavirus continues wreaking havoc on the world, two U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officers right here on the Coast lent a helping hand to a fallen veteran’s family.

Petty Officer Terrance Gray and Petty Officer Don Gerald are seen here folding the American flag that would have draped the casket of a veteran who lost his battle to COVID-19. LCDR James McKnight said,“Two of my petty officers had to make an equipment run to a local store and encountered a lady who recently had a veteran relative deceased. The Veterans Affair Office sent her a flag and a letter.”

Due to CDC guidelines, the fallen veteran wasn’t able to have a traditional ceremony. Petty Officer Gray said, “She said the most devastating thing about losing of the uncle is that he was a veteran and he didn’t have his veteran funeral. They sent the remains home to her and the American flag that they would have draped over his casket that she said wasn’t folded. She also told me prior to meeting us, she was driving around to different businesses asking people if they knew how to fold the flag and nobody knew how to do it.”

And for that reason Gray says offering his help was not only an honor, it was his duty. “A veteran’s funeral is significant. It holds a spot in my heart and I wanted to first off, honor the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard would have wanted me to do what’s right and I felt that making that decision and folding that flag for her, it meant a lot. It meant a lot to me and Petty Officer Gerald.”

“They considered it a great honor to be able to do that. They are outstanding gentlemen and I think very highly of them.”

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