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Gatesville family says a miracle got them to their veteran family member's funeral

Helping family make it to veteran funeral
Posted at 6:27 PM, Sep 07, 2023

GATESVILLE, Texas — Some of the nation’s heroes are buried at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery with an unaccompanied funeral.

That means that there was no family in attendance, but thanks to the generosity of the veteran community, one family from Gatesville was able to make sure their loved one wasn’t added to that list.

Vietnam veteran Sergeant Jose Montalvo-Rivera died in a nursing home last month without his family being notified.

Once they found out about his death, they were able to make sure he was buried with military honors, but because of medical reasons and no car, they had no way to travel to his funeral in Killeen from Gatesville.

”He died away from us, and he was going to be buried without us being there,” said Sgt. Montalvo-Rivera's sister, Norma Montalvo.

“I couldn’t let that happen to him, because I promised him.”

The day before his burial, a veteran in Harker Heights heard their story and answered their prayers.

"This is a miracle. This is the most profound miracle on wings,” Montalvo said.

"It's like a message from God. He's just, boom — right there and you're right here."

It was retired U.S. Army veteran Tommie Taylor and his wife, who showed up to take them to her brother’s funeral.

”I’m a veteran too. I’m hoping that if anything ever happens to me, that another veteran or somebody would take the time to help me and my family," Taylor said.

"In this particular case, this family needed help, and I wanted to be there for them.”

This was a simple act of kindness that Norma Montalvo and her mother never expected.

”I was looking at Jose’s picture, begging him for help, and I looked at the image of our Lord and I just kept praying, and then it happened,” Montalvo said.

She has a message for the brother she was able to say goodbye to.

”You were not anything to throw away. We got you back, we brought you back. You’re going to be exactly where you wanted to be, a military cemetery with full honors,” Montalvo said.

“You probably didn’t believe it when you were dying, but now you see it okay.”

The family says it was nothing short of a miracle that they were able to make it out to the cemetery for the funeral, and they say they will never forget the people who helped make it happen.