Widow Surprised With Flag Honoring Late Veteran Husband In Manistee County

A very special, surprise reminder for this woman, of the sacrifice made by her husband decades ago.

The Kaleva VFW post presented her with a flag, honoring his service in the Vietnam War at their annual Memorial Day ceremony in Manistee County.

9&10’s Taylor Jones was in on the surprise.

Sandy Asiala in tears as the community honored her late husband.

Sgt. John Cottrel was killed in action during the Vietnam War.

“He was in the Infantry, he was a Sergeant and he was only there for three months when he was killed. Our son was four and a half months old. He did get to see his son before he left,” says Asiala.

Memories that came rushing back as Post Commander Calvin Murphy revealed an American flag with her husband’s name on it.

“It can’t be, because there are so many other people that have done more than me and it’s just amazing, we are a big family here, so we help and look out for each other,” says Asiala.

Commander Murphy says the act came out of a sense of duty.

“I told them her story even though he was honored in their hometown when he was killed in action, but nothing was ever done here and it just touched me as a Vietnam Veteran and I wanted the widow to know that we won’t forget him,” says Murphy.

Sandy and her family raised their son. She since remarried and now has a daughter.

Believing deep down, John would be proud of everyone who helped her work through the loss.

“Without family and all the love that I have from family, I could not have made it, my husband was very young,” says Asiala.

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