KOKOMO, Ind. — All week long, the Howard County Vietnam Veterans Association has been celebrating its annual reunion. However, Saturday will be dedicated to U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Humberto “Bert” Sanchez.
The 22-year-old was killed in action, along with 12 other U.S. service members, during a bombing at the Kabul airport in Afghanistan.
The public is welcome to attend Saturday’s tribute. Opening ceremonies are set to begin at 11 a.m. at the Howard County Vietnam grounds on SR 26 West of IN 213 in Kokomo.
Event organizers said Cpl. Sanchez’s mother will be honored during the ceremony and she is said to address the hundreds of Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans that will be in the crowd.
For a full schedule of events, click here.
Saturday’s event in Kokomo is just the latest example of community support for Indiana’s fallen Hoosier hero.
On Monday, an estimated 9,500 motorcycles lined a procession route to help escort the marine back to his hometown.
On Tuesday, Corporal Sanchez was laid to rest in Logansport where family and friends of the marine were joined by former Vice President Mike Pence, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, and other elected officials.
“He was assigned to the second battalion first marines when the order came to leave his duties as an embassy guard in Jordan to assist and oversee the evacuation of over 100,00 Americans and Afghan refugees fleeing the country,” said Chaplain Capt. Blake Campbell, U.S. Air Force, Grissom Air Reserve Base. “It was in this selfless act of bravery and courage that he gave the ultimate sacrifice, and he gave up his life in the defense of the defenseless.”
Last week, the Logansport community even joined together to honor Corporal Sanchez with several murals throughout the town.
Jane Williams, Sanchez’s former grade school teacher, is now President of the Logansport Art Association and helped coordinate the murals. Williams said the mural depicts some of the many passions of Sanchez’s life — like soccer, art classes, and the U.S. Marines.
“We’re just pleased and honor to pay some kind of tribute to this hero. That’s what he is. A hero,” said Williams. “We’re humbled and honored and we want to support the family.”