Colorado Springs widow gives final salute to veteran husband who died suddenly

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. —  The widow of a fallen service member left overwhelmed after he suddenly died is able to give her husband, a Vietnam veteran, the honorary send-off he deserves.

Ute, the widow of Ray Belasco, was shocked when he suddenly passed away at 65-years-old.

Recently, local veterans of a Foreign Wars group heard the widow’s story, with members attributing his death to a lack of care from the Colorado Springs Veterans Affairs Hospital.

“When we found out that the funeral home wanted to hold the funeral in the parking lot we couldn’t have that,” said VFW Jr. Vice Commander Cindy Galvin.

He said because Ute didn’t have the proper documentation complete after Ray’s death, she was turned away from any funeral plans.

Fortunately, VFW Post 3917 took matters into their own hands and setup a memorial at the American Legion Post 38 in Fountain.

“So many valued people; so many honorable people from different walks of life, from different organizations, different motivations who come here to honor the veterans,” said VFW Sr. Vice Commander Steve Kjonaas.

Prior to the memorial, VFW Post 3917 also helped Ute collect the benefits her husband deserves, while assisting her with filling out the proper documentation.

“They weren’t asking for anything; they weren’t expecting anything, they didn’t beg for anything, they just are very grateful, they didn’t realize we were going to do all of this,” said Galvin.

If you’d like to read more about Ute’s story and her concern with the Colorado Springs Veterans Affairs hospital, click here.

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