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Michigan veteran gets headstone 57 years after death

Associated Press

Rogers City — A veteran who died aboard a freighter that sank in 1958 finally has a headstone at a cemetery in northern Michigan.

Duane Berg, 25, was never found after the freighter Carl D. Bradley sank in Lake Michigan, The Alpena News reported. A military flag holder meant for Berg sat next to his father’s grave in Rogers City, but without a headstone.

Funeral home owner Ted Beck said he noticed in the spring Berg’s grave didn’t have a headstone, so he decided to help the family get a military marker in the style of others at Arlington National Cemetery. A ceremony to give Berg military honors is scheduled Saturday at Memorial Park Cemetery.

“For a veteran, we want to do as much as we can for them, for honoring their life and their service to our country,” Beck said.

Evelyn Berg, who’s married to the veteran’s younger brother, Mark, said it’s unclear why Duane Berg never received a headstone. His death was difficult for the family to cope with and his parents and widow, Donna, have since died.

“It was very devastating for my parents,” Mark Berg said. “They never found a body. All through history we’ve never been aware of what to do.”

Berg’s son, who is also named Duane, said having a headstone at his father’s grave provides a “place to go and talk to him.”

Berg served in the Air Force from 1952 to 1956, according to Evelyn Berg.