On this Veterans Day, the family of a Connecticut man who served is finally getting some closure as his remains are returned home to them today.
Marty Rust served the US military honorably, as a combat photographer in Vietnam.
He died in Connecticut in September. And over the last few weeks, Connecticut’s Patriot Guard Riders have been working to make sure Rust got an equally honorable return to his family in the Midwest.
“The flag is always with that veteran, from the time they’re ready to say goodbye to the time that person is at a cemetery,” said Gregg Barratt, Connecticut state captain of the Patriot Guard Riders.
After the war, Rust went home, but like so many vets, he struggled particularly after the loss of his brother, who also served. Rust moved away from family and landed in Connecticut. His cousin Jacqueline Agee said the 75-year-old never really regained family contact.
“He stepped away from the family. I have kind of guilt of my own (for) not reaching out more to a cousin that was in Vietnam” said Agee.
Upon learning of his death alone in the Nutmeg State, Agee put out a call to get Rust’s remains back.
Enter the Connecticut Patriot Guard, who answered that call to get Rust back to family in a manner befitting his service. They arranged the honor-filled transport of his remains from the morgue at Yale New Haven Hospital to a funeral home, and finally on a flight all the way to Illinois to be greeted by the Guard there.
“My initial reaction was I have no idea how I’m going to do that. But if there’s any group that’s up to that, it’s the Connecticut Patriot Guard. The first thing was how do we get him honorably from Yale New Haven to the funeral home. So we provided an escort with our flag vehicles and some of our motorcycles,” said Barratt.
To get Rust back to Chicago, an Air Force major in the Guard’s network, volunteered to fly his remains from Connecticut.
“I do find it amazing that he's being honored on coming home on Veterans Day, which is - he definitely deserves that,” said Agee.
Rust’s remains were greeted by Illinois and Indiana Patriot Guard Wednesday and he is expected to be buried next week.