The death of Army Specialist Moises Gonzalez opened up a secret
he had kept from two families: unbeknownst to his second wife, he had never divorced his first wife, according to a KGET.com report
While both women attended the funeral service and sat in the first row, they did not speak and only his first wife received the U.S. flag presented by the military, NBC affiliate KGET-TV
Ruth Bayona, who married Gonzalez in 2010, claims she was never contacted by the military about his death in a Humvee rollover accident that occurred on April 25.
The military did contact Darlene Garcia of Los Angeles, Gonzalez's first wife, and said she would receive survivor benefits as well as the service flag.
Bayona, who lived with Gonzalez in Bakersfield, Calif., had hoped she would receive the flag, but Garcia's family expressed that it should go to Garcia since she is the mother of Gonzalez's first child.
"This woman hasn't been in his life for years and the only reason she's coming out right now is because of the benefits," Bayona told KGET. "I was with him during thick and thin for three years and he's not here to say anything to explain himself. I should get the flag, not her."
Bayona, the soldier’s current wife, also bore Gonzalez a son, as did a third woman who attended the service who was never married to him, KGET reported.
Bayona said Gonzalez told her about the first marriage but claimed he was divorced.
A casualty-assistance officer gave Bayona the bad news after she arrived in Delaware to claim his body. "The JAG made a decision that she's the first wife so she’s the one who’s going to be recognized as the wife," Bayona told KGET, "just because of the years of the marriage certificates."
At the church service in Huntington Park, Calif., Bayona was visibly shaken.
"I feel like he's still in Afghanistan," she told KGET.
Gonzalez's father fears the feud will diminish his son's legacy.
"He died giving his life for the country he loved," Carlos Gonzalez said. "Like everything else in life we are here with his family. All of them."