Son of area veteran works to provide father proper military burial

Local organization steps in to help

BAKERSFIELD - The son of a Kern County veteran is working hard on getting his father the proper military burial.  Specialist Ron Armstrong died just after Independence Day.

Armstrong served in Vietnam and was living in Bakersfield, taking care of his sick-mother when a stroke left him bedridden. Now, complete strangers are lining up to lend a hand to this veteran who spent a lot of time helping others.

Every picture tells a story.

"He was always there for everybody,” said son, Aaron Armstrong.

Armstrong remembers his father, Specialist Ron Armstrong, a Vietnam veteran and retired correction officer who recently passed away.

"He believed everything this country stands for and our freedom and fighting for our freedom,” he said.

Specialist Armstrong suffered a stroke and was confined to a bed.  His son lives in Oregon but is now in Kern County looking for help to buy his dad a suit and give him a proper burial.

"Since he was bed written he didn't have any clothes in his wardrobe lately, mostly sweats and t-shirts, shorts and I want him buried with something presentable," said Armstrong.

The military is paying for his burial at the Bakersfield National Cemetery, which the family says, includes a head stone and an American flag.  The remaining balance is up to the family to cover.

"It's really hard and not really knowing anybody around to ask advice or for help has been hard," he said.

So, we introduced the family to the Armed Forces Support Riders.

"This community of bikers, this community of veterans, this community in general, when a vet has a need, this community steps up," said Ben Patten of the Kern County Armed Forces Support Riders.

The group is offering some help during the family's emotional time.

"The Armed Forces Support Riders in association with the American Legion Riders and the Patriot Guard Riders and everybody here, here’s a couple hundred bucks, buy your dad a suit," said Patten.

Members of the different organizations collected donations after hearing Armstrong’s struggles.

"Thank you again, Carlos. You guys, coming to us for this, it’s the way this is supposed to work. You talk about the community.  Well, channel 23 you guys are equally as important in this.  You brought this to our attention, had you not, we wouldn't have known about this young man,” he said.

Now Armstrong is closer to giving his father a proper burial, as the family begins to heal.

"I just want to say thank you for all your help with my dad, making sure he gets what he deserves," said Armstrong.

The Armstrong family hopes to have a burial for their father this coming week.

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