Veterans Stand Guard for WWII Vet

By Paige Browning

The memorial for 88-year old Delbert “Shorty” Belton brought more than 300 people to Greenwood Memorial Terrace in Spokane Thursday. Two 16 year olds suspected of killing Belton are behind bars.
 
Bikes belonging to the Patriot Guard and other veterans lined roads inside the cemetery grounds. Photo by Paige Browning.Military veterans on motorcycles led the procession, while vets holding flags lined the roads at the cemetery. Delbert Belton served as a sharp shooter for the military police during World War II. At the burial, shots were fired in his honor, in a three-volley salute. Belton’s family members sat in front of a large crowd of veterans and supporters. Among them, Belton’s brother in law John Gamble and his daughter.
 
Gamble: “I’ve known Del for about 55 years, and we did everything together (They were as tight and can be, for forever and ever and ever). We were just like brothers…”
 
Gamble remembers Belton working on cars, going out dancing, and as a caring friend.   
Veterans who never knew Belton, like Eldon Lott, attended to show their support.
  
Lott: “I tell you there’s one thing about veterans. They are prominent, they stick together, there’s not a veteran here that’s not my friend.”
 
The burial included full military honors, and a Patriot Guard presence of about 180 vets. A vet who goes by Slim traveled for the event.
 
Slim: “Yeah, it’s our duty… We brought over eight of us, come in from Montana.”
 
The family will hold another service open to the public Friday.

Spokane Police suspect 16 year olds Kenan Adams-Kinard and Demetrius Glenn of beating to death and robbing Belton last week. This week prosecutors revealed contents of a letter that claimed Belton was selling the teens crack cocaine, and shorted them on a deal. Spokane Police say they have yet to find any credible evidence to that claim.

Photo: Bikes belonging to the Patriot Guard and other veterans lined roads inside the cemetery grounds. Photo by Paige Browning.

Delbert Belton received full military honors at his burial in Spokane. Photo by Paige Browning.
Delbert Belton received full military honors at his burial in Spokane. Photo by Paige Browning.

More than 150 Patriot Guard veterans stood watch at the burial. Photo by Paige Browning.
More than 150 Patriot Guard veterans stood watch at the burial. Photo by Paige Browning.
 
Copyright 2013 Spokane Public Radio
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