The late U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Martin Laureano Gonzales, who died Oct. 5 in an apparently accidental crash of a drug-hunting plane in Colombia, will receive a full military honors reception when his remains are flown in to Miami International Airport on Tuesday, Oct. 22 at 3 p.m.
The reception will include military and civilian color guards and a water cannon salute. Gonzales’ widow and family members will receive his remains.
County Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz, who serves as Chairman of the County’s Military Affairs Board, will attend the ceremony.
Gonzales, who lived in Miramar, joined the Air Force in 1992. His last assignment was as an interpreter for the Air National Guard Readiness Field Operating Agency National Guard Bureau Domestic Operations, the counter drug division. At the time of his death, his plane was providing detection and monitoring of drug trafficking routes as part of Operation Martillo.
“Master Sgt. Gonzales made the ultimate sacrifice, and we honor his service to this country,” Commissioner Diaz said.
Following the color guard reception, Gonzales’ remains will receive a military escort to Vista Memorial Gardens, 14200 NW 57th Ave., in Miami Lakes. The funeral is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 25 at 10 a.m. at Coral Gables Congregational Church, 3010 De Soto Blvd., Miami, FL 33134. A memorial also is planned for Oct. 28 at U.S. Southern Command in Doral.