PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — As a Patriot Guard rider, Pinky Valenciano is part of a dedicated group that honors those who have served our country.
Friday, though, was personal as she rode through the Willamette National Cemetery to honor Larry Bush, a 58-year-old Navy veteran.
“It’s so emotional when it’s your own member,” Valenciano said. “It’s OK. I got to ride for him. I got to ride for him.”
Bush was killed at his Salem home July 3 when his own brother, Jon Bush, allegedly stabbed him with a sword.
“We don’t know why it happened, we don’t know how it’s going to go, we just know that the grief is very real,” said his sister, Dale Langley. “My brother Larry had totally committed his life, totally turned it around, got off of drugs and alcohol.”
The Bush family doesn’t have to worry about funeral costs.
In 1977, Oregon enacted the Crime Victim’s Compensation Program, which can include up to $5,000 in funeral expenses for victims of violent crimes.
The Department of Justice program is funded through punitive damages awards, federal grant money and the general fund.
“It meant that we were able to say goodbye in the way that he should have had a send off,” Langley said.
She said seeing the American flags standing in the cemetery and know they were for her brother was huge.
“I didn’t know that people could be so loving in such a hard case.”
Family members told KOIN 6 News they’re focusing on forgiveness now as Jon Bush moves through the court system.