LOGANSPORT, Ind. – As we head into Memorial Day Weekend, the Logansport community is paying special tribute to one of the Marines killed nearly two years ago in Afghanistan.
Humberto “Bert” Sanchez was one of the 13 U.S. military service members killed by a suicide bomber in Kabul on August 26, 2021. Nearly two years later, his family wants to set his legacy in stone.
On Friday, the fallen Marine’s family unveiled a new monument at Mount Hope Cemetary. The memorial has two sides. The front has a statue of Humberto in his Marine uniform holding a military-issued rifle. The back of the statue reflects his civilian life; featuring a large picture of him when he played soccer.
“Even when I’m not here, my kids are not here, this is going be here and people are still going to be learning about who Humberto Sanchez was,” his mother, Coral Briseno said.
Several dozen people attended the event, including complete strangers.
“For me to do this, and have all the community here today, it shows me he is never going to get forgotten,” Briseno said.
Bert’s mother said she still remembers the day; August 26, 2021. It was a shocking day for many Americans, but it was an earth-shattering one for her.
“As a parent, you’re never expected to bury your kids,” she said. “And as a parent, you never thought you were going to live without your kids. They were going to bury you.”
Those by Bert’s side during his time in Afghanistan still remember him as a very dependable person.
“Serving alongside Bert for a little over a year, I can tell you he was just one of the toughest people I have ever met,” said Maj. Geoff Ball.
Ball said it was a chaotic time in Afghanistan filled with a lot of desperation as thousands sought a new life outside of the country.
“There were incredible acts of humanity, kindness and compassion,” Ball recalled. “The Marines, the airmen, the soldiers and the sailors that were there, what they displayed towards their fellow human beings was remarkable.”
One of those people was Bert Sanchez.
“He could be counted on because he was never going to quit,” Ball said. “He could take on the largest challenge and succeed and he was known for that, and that’s the legacy we’re going to remember Bert by.”
Also among Friday’s crowd were dozens of members of AMVETS Post 82621, which is a local post formed not long after that very date that Bert was killed.
“My wife and I lost our son in ’15,” Commander Roger Spencer said. “And we just told her, here’s a shoulder for you to cry on. You know? We’re here. We know exactly what you’re going through.”
The group has been like a second family to Coral Briseno. To this day, she said she still thinks of her son often.
“Every day,” she said. ‘Every day. “I have a room in my house that I actually created just for him. It has all of his pictures, all of the stuff I got from all over the world.”
Briseno said she could not be more proud of her son. She described him as a bright light who will still shine day in and day out.
“The memory, the legacy, the name is going to stay alive,” she said.
The family placed a QR code on the memorial. When scanned with a smartphone, visitors can view Sanchez’s obituary and several pictures throughout his life.