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Fallen WWII veteran gets proper military funeral service

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Fourteen years after his death, a World War II veteran from the Valley was honored with a proper military funeral service and headstone. 

Elected leaders, family and friends gathered Tuesday to honor the life of Private First Class Santana Gonzalez, a World War II veteran.

A fire back in 1973 at the national personnel records center destroyed all records of Gonzalez's military career, along with those of other veterans. Without those records of service, veterans cannot receive their headstone. 

But on Tuesday, with the help of local army veteran, Colonel Ross Barrera, Congressman Henry Cuellar, and Gonzalez's daughter-in-law, Margarita Gonzalez, the veteran was finally honored. 

Barrera says he now hopes he can make this happen for others too.

"I see it as a private mission that I will continue to do that," Barrera said. "If there is anybody out there who needs help in doing this for their family or their loved ones." 

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