HOUSTON (FOX 26) - "His dream was to join all the branches of the service," said Lawrence Renya's widow.
You don't get more patriotic than 79-year-old Lawrence Reyna. He joined the marines at the age of 16 and enlisted in the air force when he was 23.
"I knew he was going to die, it just happened so fast," his widow said.
She was still reeling from the death of her mate of 55 years when something unthinkable happened.
She says she and her daughters spent about 10 minutes at Reyna's grave site at the Houston National Cemetery.
Thieves used that time to steal the women's purses and a travel bag belonging to Reyna's daughter, who lives in New Jersey.
"It had everything. It had her ID, her passport, it had her money, charge cards, jewelry, but most of all, it had the crucifix and rosary that was in her dads coffin that meant so much to her," Reyna said.
The grief-stricken family members learned they were far from being the only cemetery visitors to become crime victims.
The Precinct 4 Constables Office is now investigating.
The cemetery does have signs warning visitors not to leave valuables in unlocked vehicles.