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‘Freedom is not free’: Mother of late Logansport Marine speaks out year later

Coral Briseno looks at her late son, Cpl. Humberto Sanchez
Posted at 6:00 PM, Aug 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-27 12:08:02-04

LOGANSPORT — Friday marks one year since a Logansport native was killed in Afghanistan. Marine Cpl. Humberto Sanchez was one of 13 military members killed in an airport bombing in Kabul as the United States pulled out of the country last August.

“I just feel like he’s still around, he’s still around,” Coral Briseno, Sanchez’s mother, said.

Last week, Briseno and her family moved into a new home.

“First thing when we move in, it was like put my flag and 13 flags outside,” Briseno said.

Each flag on her front law represents one of the military members killed in the airport bombing last August, including one for her son. Briseno said her son was helping move children to safety when he was killed in action.

“Last year on the 26th, midnight it was almost two in the morning when we had the knock on the door. Our whole world turned upside down,” Briseno said.

Sanchez, or as his friends call him, “Bert,” died at just 22 years old. He was the Briseno’s oldest son, also an uncle and brother, enlisting in the Marine Corps at 17.

“He joined the Marines because he wants to make me proud and he don’t know how proud I am,” Briseno said.

When he returned home last September, thousands lined the streets. Briseno said the support did not stop there.

“I’m not going to say only our town, only our state – the whole country supports us,” Briseno said.

WRTV asked Briseno: “People are always there at first and then they’re not. Do you feel like people are still there for you?”

Briseno answered: “People are still there for me. There’s this bonding between the Marine moms.”

It is that support from around the world that has gotten her and her family through the darkest of days.

“It looks like it happened last week and then it feels like a long, long time ago because I miss him so much,” Briseno said.

The 22-year-old will live on through an upcoming scholarship fund. His mother said she wants those who are first-generation American students to apply.

Come September, the family will also hold a second motorcycle ride in his honor after the inaugural ride last year and by Veteran’s Day, a new memorial will be placed at his gravesite.

In the months since his death, Sanchez was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal and a Purple Heart. Bridges on State Road 25 over the Wabash River and the local AMVets post now dawn his name.

Sanchez will also be honored at the 27th Annual Indiana Gold Tournament via the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation in Noblesville on Sept. 8.

As time ticks on, Briseno wants us all to always remember the 13.

“It’s important for me, people understand that freedom is not free and for people like my son and the other 13 — that’s why we’re in this country,” Briseno said.