PHOENIX - Summing up Juston Doherty’s 45 years on earth was difficult for his loved ones. He was so much. A soldier, a firefighter, and a family man. But the stories about him were not hard to come by.
“Juston encountered an elderly and disabled Vietnam veteran in deplorable living conditions," Phoenix Fire Chief Kara Kalkbrenner said at his funeral service Tuesday.
“Juston gave nearly a month of his own time and money hauling away garbage, cleaning up, and making repairs at this veteran’s home.”
After his funeral service at Christ’s Church of the Valley in Peoria, family and friends gathered at National Memorial Cemetery in north Phoenix for a graveside service with full military honors.
His mother was presented with an American flag. His brother was given an Arizona flag. In an emotional moment, his brother placed Doherty’s brand new captain’s helmet on his casket. It was equipment he never got a chance to wear. The department promoted him after his death but made the promotion effective one day before.
“He shall be laid to rest with the glory and the commendations he so well deserved,” Kalkbrenner said.
In all, Doherty served 15 years with the Phoenix Fire Department and more than 20 in the military.
He was a highly-decorated Captain in the US Army, an Army Ranger and Airborne School graduate who served in two combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan and received multiple commendations and medals, including the Bronze Star.
He was found dead July 7 in his quarters at the Arizona Army National Guard Base in Phoenix. His cause of death has not been determined. Officials said foul play is not suspected.