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First 4 veterans laid to rest at Pikes Peak National Cemetery

The nation's newest national cemetery opened Thursday in the shadow of Pike's Peak.

The first four of what will become 200,000 veterans were laid to rest Thursday at the nation’s newest national cemetery.

Pikes Peak National Cemetery is in the shadow of the iconic 14,114’ mountain just west of Colorado Springs. It provides an option for military families in southern Colorado as Fort Logan National Cemetery nears capacity.

One of the four veterans who was buried Thursday was SN Joseph Romero, who served in the Navy. He died five years ago, and his cremated remains have been at his wife’s home ever since.

“Everybody was saying ‘when are you going to bury him?’” Sandra Romero said. “He wanted military honors, and I wanted to wait.”

The other veterans are PFC James Grant, who served in the U.S. Army; SMSGT Charles Joyner, who served in the U.S. Air Force; and KSGT Kurt Krause, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Krause died in January of last year after a long battle with cancer.

“He was a hard fighter,” his wife Charlotte Krause said.

She said the family heard a new cemetery was opening in Colorado Springs and applied.

“It’s unbelievable, unbelievable. I cannot believe that they called and told me he had been picked,” Charlotte Krause said. “He would have loved nothing better than to know he was going to be at this cemetery.”

All members of the armed forces who met a minimum active duty service requirement and were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable can be buried in a national cemetery.

To learn about scheduling a burial in the nation’s newest national cemetery, go to: https://bit.ly/2zlt9NU