LAS VEGAS (CBS Las Vegas) – The news of Army Specialist Moises J. Gonzalez’s passing came as a shock to those who loved him – including both of his families, who knew nothing about each other until the day of his funeral.
KGET-TV is reporting that the 29-year-old soldier is leaving behind two wives and three sons, each from a different woman. The mother of his second child was not married to Gonzalez.
Darlene Garcia, from Los Angeles, was married to Gonzalez nine years ago, and gave birth to his oldest son. In 2010, he married Ruth Bayona from Bakersfield, Calif., in Las Vegas. She is the mother of his youngest child.
Both were allegedly seated in the front row at his services, but Gonzalez was reportedly the recipient of the folded flag. He was subsequently laid to rest at Inglewood Cemetery in Inglewood, Calif.
Bayona told the station that the ceremony was tense, with only glances exchanged between the two women.
“I’m sad, but I know in my heart that’s not him,” Bayona added. “I feel like he’s still in Afghanistan, that’s how I feel.”
Garcia, too stricken with grief to speak herself, held on to her sister-in-law as she spoke with KGET.
“It hurts so much to see my nephew go through this,” Paula Ojeda said. “He’s going to go through this a lot for the rest of his life.”
But not everyone there was focused on the dramatic events unfolding at the funeral – Gonzalez’s father remembered his son for who he was, not what he did.
“He was an exceptional son, who always gave his heart to the world and to his country, he was my only son, he was my baby,” Carlos Gonzalez told station. “Like everything in life, we are with his family, with all of them.”