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Honoring a fallen Marine

Sanchez family captures heart of Kokomo community

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Show of Respect — Residents from around the area lined Foreman Drive at Grissom Air Reserve Base as the procession honoring Humberto Sanchez began.

BUNKER HILL - The death of Humberto Sanchez shocked central Indiana and spurred an outpouring of support for Sanchez and his family. People held American flags and lined the road from Grissom Air Force Base to Logansport this past Sunday, as Sanchez was brought home.

Sanchez, a corporal in the Marines and a Logansport native, was one of 13 American service members killed during the bombing at the Kabul airport in Afghanistan on Aug. 26.

Dennis “Cappy” Chapman, chaplain at the Howard County Vietnam Veterans Organization (HCVVO) and a Vietnam veteran himself, said the organization drove a van full of people and multiple cars to the procession. Chapman said the HCVVO’s mission is to help and honor veterans.

“I think our people honored him in a very special way,” Chapman said. “It was very moving. Everybody was glad to be there. They wanted to be there and they wanted to show the family they care.”

Chapman said the HCVVO tries to be a light for veterans and their families. He said some of the veterans were very upset about Sanchez’s death, and he hates that it happened. The group prayed before driving to the procession route and made sure to display their flags.

When Jerry Arnold heard about the loss of Sanchez, he wondered how he could help support Sanchez’s family and the rest of the community.


Area's Son — The hearse carrying Humberto Sanchez passes the crowd and makes its way to Gundrum Funeral Home and Crematory in Logansport.

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Arnold, owner of Arnold’s Fine Jewelry and Gifts in Logansport, started a fund with $1,000 in honor of Sanchez. People are able to donate at any of the Security Federal Savings Bank locations in Logansport, Kokomo, Delphi, Lafayette and West Lafayette.

“I think a lot of people in the community are horrified by it and trying to support the family as much as possible,” Arnold said.

People have shared the fundraiser over social media platforms like Facebook to gain support and raise awareness. As of Aug. 8, the fund had raised a total of $14,620. Arnold said the funds from the account will go to Sanchez’s family.

“They’re a local family, and I thought it was appropriate to do something and show him honor as well for his sacrifice,” Arnold said.

Many others rallied their support by joining a motorcycle escort. Motorcyclists from Kokomo met at Harley-Davidson early Sunday morning to organize and prepare. Chapman said motorcyclists turned out in large numbers to honor Sanchez.

“Oh my goodness, I bet there were 2,000 motorcycles,” Chapman said. “They just kept coming.”

Chapman said he hopes Sanchez’s family will look back and remember how many people showed up to pay their respects and show support.

“I’m thankful I went today,” Chapman said. “I feel like it meant something. I think that’s one of the best things we can do for parents who lost their child: just show we care.”