Cape community pulls together to pay for fallen veteran's funeral
Cape Cod Online
By Cynthia Mccormick
June 17, 2013
The town of Barnstable, a nonprofit veterans fund, a South Yarmouth funeral home and community members have stepped up to help a Cape family pay for the funeral of a 24-year-old Iraq War veteran.
Edward F. Merigan, director of Barnstable District Veterans Services, petitioned the Massachusetts secretary of veterans services to allow the town of Barnstable to contribute $2,000 toward funeral expenses for U.S. Army Spc. Christian Estrada.
The former soldier, who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, died June 5 in his apartment in Killeen, Texas, of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, his family said.
A Massachusetts law providing for the burial of indigent veterans who die alone allows the veteran’s town of residency to pay up to $2,000 for the funeral, Merigan said.
The family is allowed to contribute another $1,000, keeping the cost of the funeral to $3,000, he said. Merigan said any additional expenses are absorbed by the funeral home providing the service.
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