Air Force captain receives belated military funeral
FERNLEY — It snowed on the day last September when Air Force Capt. Donald Hyatt was supposed to be honored with a military service at the Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Fernley.
Maybe that’s why the Air Force Honor Guard from Beale Air Force Base outside of Marysville, Calif., arrived about four hours late for the service for Hyatt. Perhaps it was just a scheduling snafu.
In any event, Hyatt was laid to rest that day, albeit without the rendering of military funeral honors. Instead, Hyatt’s friends and family shared a quiet memorial that day and were long gone from the cemetery by the time the contingent from Beale AFB arrived.
Thursday, Hyatt got his honors.
The Nevada Veterans Coalition honored 23 veterans at its monthly unaccompanied ceremony on Aug. 27 at the NNVMC. One of those was Hyatt, who was given the military funeral that he didn’t get last September.
“You did a beautiful job,” a grateful Ellie Hyatt, told several members of the coalition, after accepting the folded flag as next of kin.
Don and Ellie Hyatt met on Christmas Eve in Tokyo and were married in 1973. He had been a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force, and then he became a pilot for Pan American World Airways in 1966. Ellie was working as a flight attendant for Pan Am at the time. They eventually settled in Truckee.
“To receive the flag, for me, it was such an honor,” Ellie Hyatt said. “That flag has followed us around the world for 34 years.”
Other veterans were also honored during the ceremony:
EN1 Carlyle Hatchell, Navy; E4 Charles Hamilton, Army; Y2C Joseph Jackson, Navy; SP5 Michael Hartman, Army; AN Richard Jackson, Navy; GM2 Charles Hill, Navy; SP4 Frederic Ingersoll, Army; SP4 John Beristain, Army; E4 Thomas Lelko, Air Force; Paul Martian, Marine Corps; AA Donald Rogers, Navy; E3 Elliot Sigafoos, Navy; Jimmy Stone, Army; SP4 David Whitaker, Army; PFC Laurence Gillard, Marine Corps; SP4 John Strickland, Army; SN William Kiner, Navy; SR Harvey Billsborough, Navy; TSGT Charles Boyer, Air Force; PFC Shirley Hendricks, Army; SP3 Richard Hendrickson, Army; SGT Kevin Thorpe, Army; CPT Donald Hyatt, Air Force.