An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : News
NEWS | Nov. 3, 2023

CTNG assists with the interment of six unclaimed veteran cremains

By Timothy Koster

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – The Connecticut National Guard’s funeral honors team worked alongside the state’s Department of Veteran Affairs and the Connecticut Funeral Directors Association to celebrate the lives and inter the cremains of six Connecticut veterans at the state veteran’s cemetery, here, Nov. 3, 2023.

The six veterans honored were U.S. Army Technician fifth grade Wilfred A. Carpentier (Dec. 6, 1917 – April 27, 1976), U.S. Army Cpl. Robert L. Coston, Sr. (Oct. 27, 1938 – Nov. 12, 2014), U.S. Navy Fireman Apprentice Michael Joseph Gruttadauria, Jr. (Sept. 25, 1948 – Nov. 28, 2021), U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Joseph Henry O’Brien, II (Jan. 25, 1937 – Aug. 13, 2021), U.S. Army Sgt. Bernice Greenstreet Record (Nov. 1, 1923 – Sept. 9, 2007), and U.S. Army Air Corps Pvt. Roland H. Record (Dec. 19, 1927 – Nov. 10, 1998).
Bernice Record and Roland Record were a married couple.

“Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in service of our great country can never be repaid,” said Brig. Gen. (ret.) Ron Welch, commissioner of the department of veteran’s affairs. “They have earned the undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices.”

This was the nineth such ceremony these organizations have hosted since 2009 when the state passed a law requiring funeral homes to identify if any of their unclaimed cremated remains are those of U.S. service members so they can receive the military funeral honors they’re entitled to.

“This can happen for a variety of reasons,” said Lionel Lessard, president of the Connecticut Funeral Directors Association. “After a cremation, a memorial service, or funeral service, sometimes the family or friends do not return to claim their loved ones. It’s not very common, but it does happen.”

In addition to the various organizations involved in the interment, several veterans and legislative leaders were in attendance to offer their respects to the departed.

“We make a statement by being here that we refuse to forget, we refuse to abandon any man or woman who has worn the uniform and served this country,” said U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal.

"Freedom is not free,” said Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont. “That’s why we never forget. We are their family.”

To learn more about the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs and its mission to bring provide military funeral services, visit