Showing posts with label Missing In America. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Missing In America. Show all posts

Saturday, July 20, 2019

WWII Veteran was buried as "homeless" because donated body was cremated

Son of deceased veteran steps forward: Dad wasn't homeless

By Martin C. Evans
July 19, 2019

The crematory received the remains from Stony Brook University School of Medicine, where Franklyn Lansner had donated his body for medical research, his son said. The family had expected the school to send the body to the crematory, he said.
Frank Lansner Sr., seated, is surrounded by family members at his home in Westbury. The photo was taken in 2017. Photo Credit: Lansner Family

The son of a World War II Navy radar technician whose remains were buried in a ceremony for homeless veterans wants Long Islanders to know that his father wasn't homeless and had a family who loved him.

Tom Lansner learned about his father's burial by reading a Newsday account of the ceremony, which was last Thursday at Long Island National Cemetery in Pinelawn.

The remains of Franklyn R. Lansner Sr., 94, and four other veterans were buried after a funeral presented by Missing In America Project, a national group that buries the unclaimed remains of veterans, and Dignity Memorial Homeless Veterans Burial Program, a cooperative effort of the Dignity Memorial funeral service providers, veterans groups and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Relatives of Air Force veteran Irving Beiser, 84, also have come forward to say he wasn't homeless.

Franklyn Lansner died of pancreatic cancer two years ago at his Westbury home, surrounded by his family, his son said.

Despite the confusion, Tom Lansner said he was pleased that his father was recognized for his military service: "I'm honored that he had a veteran's burial."

Tom Lansner said he thinks the mix-up with his father's remains may have happened because of a miscommunication between himself and the Nassau-Suffolk Crematory, a funeral home in Lake Ronkonkoma.
read it here

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Missing In America Project buries 17 unclaimed or homeless veterans

Unclaimed, homeless veterans laid to rest

April 27, 2019

MARANA — Under bright blue skies, dozens gather at the Arizona Veterans Cemetery in Marana Saturday.

The Southern Arizona Missing In America Project buries 17 unclaimed or homeless veterans complete with a ceremony of appreciation.

“It’s closure for them and it’s the promise of closure for us,” Ross Scanio, an Iraq veteran and spokesman for the Missing In America Project said. “It’s difficult to quantify the impact of being in combat and losing your fellow service members or just the carnage that is war.”

Servicemen folded American flags and presented them to veterans in attendance including Carl Randall.
Randall served in both Korea and Vietnam.

Last fall he and his wife lived in Paradise, California.

They lost their home and dozens of neighbors to the ferocious Camp Fire.
read more here

Friday, April 19, 2019

Unclaimed veterans laid to rest in Washington

Unclaimed veterans' remains put to rest with dignity and honor

by Julia Espinoza
April 18th 2019

PASCO, Wash. -- Remains of 21 veterans left unclaimed by loved ones are being honored with a proper burial at the Washington State Veterans cemetery in Medical Lake.

On Thursday, a service took place before the ride, honoring fallen heroes with a poem, folding of flag and the pledge of allegiance.

“It’s part of the veteran brotherhood no brother or sister left behind they deserve full military honors and they should not be forgotten,” said John Fish, Ride Coordinator.

The Missing in America Project is a program that helps locate, identify and provide a proper burial for fallen heroes.
read more here

Monday, February 4, 2019

Missing in America Project laid to rest 18 unclaimed veterans

Cape Canaveral National Cemetery Holds ‘You are Not Forgotten’ Ceremony for Unclaimed Veterans

Space Coast Daily
February 4, 2019

BREVARD COUNTY • MIMS, FLORIDA – The Cape Canaveral National Cemetery held a burial Saturday, Feb. 2 for veterans who went unclaimed in a “You are Not Forgotten” ceremony that drew hundreds of servicemen and women who wanted to pay tribute.
The Cape Canaveral National Cemetery held a burial Saturday, Feb. 2 for veterans who went unclaimed in a “You are Not Forgotten” ceremony that drew hundreds of servicemen and women who wanted to pay tribute. (Lee Hathaway image)

Since 2007, the nonprofit organization Missing in America Project has set out to find unclaimed veterans and give them a final resting place.

Thanks to the nonprofit, Cape Canaveral National Cemetery is now the resting spot for 18 veterans and six spouses.

According to the organization, one veteran went unclaimed at a local funeral home since 1973.

Missing in America Project Florida coordinator Kathy Church said many veterans’ ashes have sat on funeral home shelves, in attics and in storage.

The Medical Examiner’s Office has some dating back to the Civil War.
read more here

Saturday, June 2, 2018

8 veterans get final salute at Fort Sam

Unclaimed by families, 8 veterans get final salute at Fort Sam
Express News
By Sig Christenson
June 1, 2018
“Eight brothers, from the wars of far-off Asia to the shores of Tripoli. These men from all the ages stood tall for all to see. Today, we call them brothers, for with honor they did serve.” Michael Decker, a decorated Navy veteran of Vietnam
The homecoming was years in the making, in some cases decades, but on Friday, eight veterans were welcomed to their final resting place, the roar of three dozen motorcycles trumpeting their arrival at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery.

The cremated remains were out of storage at last, escorted into town by state troopers, San Antonio police and Bexar County sheriff’s deputies after a ride of more than 500 miles across West Texas, to be interred with full military honors.

Veterans usually get such treatment days after their deaths surrounded by family, but not these men. They died with no one to claim them and were placed in the basement of the Potter County Courthouse in Amarillo.
Aviation Electronic Tech 2nd Class Petty Officer Coy Washington Black
Tech Sgt. Dana Dean Milton Jr.
Navy Aviation Recruit George Machoul Aswad II, 58.
Army Pfc. Andrew Benson Bramlett, 61.
Army Pvt. Robert Pete Brunner, 71.
Navy Seaman Everett Earl Criss, 71.
Army Pfc. Don Stewart, 83.
Marine Pfc. Floyd Ray White, 65.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Nevada Honors 13 Veterans With Proper Burial

Military funeral honors men who served during World War II, Korea, Vietnam

Nevada Appeal
Steve Ranson
December 8, 2017

FERNLEY — Each veteran could have been someone's brother, son or husband, yet for some reason beyond their control, they became forgotten after they died.

The Patriot Guard marches toward the ceremonial area with U.S. flags Steve Ranson
With their custom-made urns lined up like soldiers in formation, a folded flag leaned against the middle urns, symbolic of their service to their country during one of three wars: World War II, Korea or Vietnam.
The Nevada Veterans Coalition conducted its sixth Missing in Nevada funeral at the Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery with military honors Friday to remember 13 men who never received the proper burial after they died. Some of remains sat on a shelf — covered with thick dust — for decades until testing determined the identity of each veteran. Of the 13 men, 11 served during World War II and one each from Korea and Vietnam, while the oldest veteran was 87 years old when he died.

WWII — Thomas Anderson (1920-1977), U.S. Army 1940–1945.
WWII —James Betancourt (1926-1993), U.S. Navy 1944–1944.
WWII— John Bohm (1925-1979), U.S. Navy 1942– 1946.
WWII —James Brady (1915-1972), U.S. Army 1942–1946.
WWII— Joe Brown (1905-1987), U.S. Army 1942–1944.
Vietnam — Dale Carrigan (1950-1986), U.S. Army 1968 – 1970.
WWII — George Carson (1917-2004), U.S. Army 1944 –1946.
Korean —Paul Cole (1937-1997), U.S. Air Force 1954–1962.
WWII —Willie Crumpler (1902-1977) served in the U.S. Army 1942–1943.
WWII — Howard Davis (1909-1990), U.S. Army 1944–1946.
WWII —Edgar Erickson (1920-1992), U.S. Army 1940–1945.
WWII — Sherwood Jerome (1926-1992), U.S. Army 1944–1954.
WWII — Clyde Matthews (1906-1990), U.S. Navy/US ARNG 1926-1936/1940-1943.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Civil War Veteran No Longer Missing in America

Civil War veteran finally laid to rest more than 100 years after his death
Kitsap Sun
Julianne Stanford 
Sept. 28, 2017
"When I picked that guy up, I had tears in my eyes. I was able to hold the cremains of a veteran of the Civil War, but I felt a great sense of sadness for all of the other unclaimed remains of people whose families hadn't come to get them." Jim Diamond

RETSIL -- More than 100 years after his death, a Civil War soldier was finally laid to rest with full military honors at the Washington Veterans Home at Retsil on Thursday.

Zachariah M. Stucker served as a musician and later as a private in the Union's 48th Illinois Infantry Regiment from 1861 to 1865. He was a resident at the veterans home from 1910 until his death in 1914 at the age of 69.

Stucker's remains were sent to Seattle for cremation after his death, but for unknown reasons they were never returned to Retsil. His remains sat in storage for decades until his name was discovered on a list of unclaimed remains at the Lake View Cemetery in Seattle by a volunteer with the Missing in America Project, which seeks to locate the unclaimed remains of veterans and provide burial services for them.

“What is really sad is that he has been missing for 103 years,” said Lourdes "Alfie” Alvarado-Ramos, director of the Washington Department of Veterans Affairs, during the ceremony. “That is 103 Memorial Days where nobody put a flag by his headstone. That is countless holidays, Christmases, where he didn’t get a wreath on his grave. But now, that’s over.”

Civil War historian Jim Dimond went to the Seattle cemetery last weekend to recover Stucker's remains and bring them back to Retsil.

"When I picked that guy up, I had tears in my eyes," Dimond said. "I was able to hold the cremains of a veteran of the Civil War, but I felt a great sense of sadness for all of the other unclaimed remains of people whose families hadn't come to get them."
read more here

Thursday, September 28, 2017

27 Veterans Laid to Rest After Being Forgotten

Remains of 27 veterans laid to rest after decades

KMVT 11 News
Rebecca Kitchen
September 26, 2017

FERNLEY, Nev. (KOLO) -- They served our county, but for decades, the remains of 27 veterans were unclaimed at Walton's Mortuary in Fernley, Nevada. They served in World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, and most of them passed nearly 30 years ago.

"Nobody ever came to claim them," Tom Draughon with the Northern Nevada Veterans Coalition said. "Nobody ever came and took them home."

Draughon says they will continue to look until every veteran who passes hears the words, 'Well done, good and faithful patriot. Enter into your well earned rest."

To learn more about the Missing in America Project, click here.
The veterans who were laid to rest are:
Charles Beckerman (1896-1984) served in the US Navy 1918 - 1918 WWI
Gerald Gillingham (1900-1990) served in the US Army 1918 - 1918 WWI
Edward Gerval (1915-1990) served in the US Navy 1945 - 1945 WWII
Joseph Bosse (1917-1988) served in the US Army 1941 - 1945 WWII
William Degliantoni (1919-1990) served in the US Navy 1940 - 1945 WWII
William Guthrie (1925-1990) served in the US Navy 1943 - 1946 WWII
Arturo Hayes (1922-1983) served in the US Marine Corp 1944 - 1946 WWII
Webster Johnson (1911-1988) served in the US Navy 1942 - 1946 WWII
Bernard Koolpe (1914-1988) served in the US Army 1940 - 1945 WWII
Richard Long (1921-1988) served in the US Army 1943 - 1950 WWII
Sterling McPherson (1921-1990) served in the US Army 1945 - 1947 WWII
Knox Moore (1921-1989) served in the US Merchant Marines 1942 - 1945 WWII
Eddie Robbins (1923-1988) served in the US Army 1945 - 1947 WWII
Andrew Sealock (1920-1990) served in the US Army 1943 - 1946 WWII
Earl Spaulding (1921-1989) served in the US Navy 1943 - 1945 WWII
Lorenzo Thompson (1913-1988) served in the US Army 1942 - 1945 WWII
Heinrich Ulrich Jr. (1907-1989) served in the US Navy 1943 - 1945 WWII
James White (1915-1989) served in the US Army 1943 - 1946 WWII
James Wilson (1920-1988) served in the US Army 1944 - 1946 WWII
James Adams (1924-1989) served in the US Navy 1944 - 1952 WWII/Korea
Edward Alexander (1921-1989) served in the US Navy 1941 - 1952 WWII/Korea
Lyle LaMere (1923-1989) served in the US Air Force 1942 - 1963 WWII/Korea
Devier Tozer (1925-1989) served in the US Navy 1943 - 1950 WWII/Korea
Terry Fausch (1934-1983) served in the US Air Force 1951 - 1955 Korea
Patrick Ingram (1936-1985) served in the US Army 1954 - 1957 Korea
Charles Roe (1921-1990) served in the US Navy 1941 - 1946/1969 - 1974 WWII/Vietnam
Ronald Bowser (1947-1984) served in the US Army 1965 - 1976 Vietnam
read more here

Monday, June 5, 2017

Missing In America Project Solemn Work For Thousands of Forgotten Veterans

Missing in America Project works to inter the unclaimed remains of veterans
St. Augustine Record
Jared Keever
June 4, 2017
Since that time, it has located just shy of 15,000 remains — often referred to as “cremains” — and identified 3,418 of those as veterans.
Kathy Church is Florida State Coordinator for the Missing in America Project, a group that works to identify and inter unclaimed cremated remains of veterans. (PETER.WILLOTT@STAUGUSTINE.COM)
For the last five years, Kathy Church has volunteered a portion of her time working to secure a proper, final resting place for men and women who have served their country. It is quiet, solemn work that gives her satisfaction.

“This is my way of giving back to the veterans,” Church said Wednesday, sitting in a conference room at The Record.

She had just left Craig Funeral Home where she and a small group of volunteers will be focusing their efforts in the coming months.

Church is the Florida coordinator for the Missing in America Project, an organization that identifies and collects the unclaimed cremated remains of veterans and has them interred in national cemeteries.

The national, nonprofit organization started in 2007.
read more here

Monday, November 28, 2016

Missing in America Project Helps Honor The Forgotten

Homeless Vet Who Died in Casper is One of Many
K2 Radio
By Roger Gray
November 27, 2016

Stephen Carl Reiman was a veteran of the United States Navy.

He served during the tail end of the Viet Nam War on board the missile cruiser USS Long Beach.

And he died in Casper on November 17th.

But, no one knew where he was from, where his family was, or anything else, other than his military service.

He was in a motel room in Sheridan when he fell ill, and died at the Wyoming Medical Center.

And except for the doctors and nurses in attendance, Stephen Reiman was alone.

A group called the Missing in America Project is dedicated to finding these vets who die homeless and alone. And there are a lot of them.

“As of today, we have contacted about 2000 funeral homes out of about 23,000 in the nation, so we are still only at the start of our project,” said Fred Salanti, who heads up the project.

“We have found cremains in those 2000 funeral homes of 14,202 unclaimed people. Of that number, we have identified veteran’s cremains of 3,206. Of that number, 2,947 are already buried. And the rest are waiting for a service to be held in the area.”
read more here

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Florida Veterans Unclaimed Remains from 4 Wars Laid to Rest

Unclaimed remains of war veterans laid to rest at Lake Worth cemetery
Sun Sentinel
Erika Pesantes
December 6, 2015
On Saturday, laid to rest were: Jack Legan, Frank H. Vadurro, Charles J. Valkenburg, Carol Andre Shepherd, Jacob S. Cohen, Ignatius Patrick Crisci, John Joseph Fitzgerald, Wayne Andrew Ludwig, Frank Wilfred O' Hara Jr., John Edward Lee, Charles William Morton, James Edward Sullivan, William Vaselekos and Louis Walter Harvey, Jr.
Army Major Michael Flynn inters the remains of U.S. Army Corpral Jack Legan as Marshall Murphy of the South Florida National Cemetary looks on. Veterans and volunteers were on hand at the South Florida National Cemetery in Lake Worth to take part in the burial ceremony for the Missing in America Project. The nonprofit locates, identifies and inters the unclaimed cremated remains of veterans, spouses and dependents that have sat on funeral home shelves for decades. During the ceremony the unclaimed remains of 14 veterans and seven veterans' spouses were interred. December 5, 2015. Jim Rassol, Sun Sentinel.
(Jim Rassol / Sun Sentinel)
The mahogany urns bore gold plaques that read: "You are not forgotten." On Saturday, they were remembered for their heroic acts.

Up to a quarter century after their deaths, the cremated remains of 14 war veterans and the spouses of another seven service members were finally given a dignified burial under stormy skies.

Those veterans, who served in World War I and II, and the Korean and Vietnam wars, were laid to rest at the South Florida National Cemetery in Lake Worth thanks to volunteers from the non-profit, Missing in America Project.

"Each one that we lay to rest today is a hero. You, men, who we bury today, we say goodbye to you with thankful hearts because you've embodied heroism," guest speaker Brian Mast said. "And because you've embodied bravery on our behalf and on behalf of your own families and on behalf of our grateful nation."
read more here
Linked from Stars and Stripes

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Bruce Windorski Found Alive!

Missing Army Veteran Bruce Windorski Found Alive
NBC News
Rachel Trost
November 4, 2015

Army veteran Bruce Windorski, who vanished from his northern Wisconsin home on October 17th, has been found alive in Missouri.

The Oconto County Sheriff's Office confirmed Bruce was located safely in Missouri, but no other details have been released.

"The hug and kiss was long awaited," Bruce's wife, Courtney, told Dateline NBC Wednesday morning. The family is asking for privacy at this time.
read more here
Family Searching for Missing Veteran

Monday, September 28, 2015

Missing In American Lost Another Veteran Escorting Remains

Crash kills motorcyclist escorting veteran's body, hurt 3 
Des Moines Register
Charly Haley
September 27, 2015
One motorcyclist died and three others were injured Saturday in Iowa when a car crashed into motorcyclists escorting the body of a veteran killed in a similar accident earlier this month.

The crash happened about 1 p.m. on Interstate Highway 80, near Atlantic, when nearly 125 motorcyclists and other vehicles were escorting veteran Bill Henry's cremated remains home to Omaha from the Freedom Rock landmark in western Iowa.

The Iowa State Patrol said Donald Kerby, 81, of Des Moines struck a motorcycle when he changed lanes to avoid a trailer parked on the road's shoulder. Ryan Lossing, 38, of Omaha died, and three other riders were hurt.

Henry was killed after a similar crash near Manassas, Va., earlier this month. The 69-year-old Army veteran died Sept. 14, two weeks after suffering head injuries from a crash that happened as he helped escort six West Coast veterans' remains to Arlington National Cemetery for burial.

Henry co-founded and helped lead the Nebraska chapter of the Missing in America Project, which works with funeral homes to return unclaimed remains of veterans to family members and arrange for military burials.

"It's a tragedy. They (Henry and Lossing) both went before their time," said Larry Schaber, a friend of Henry's who co-founded Nebraska's Missing in America Project chapter with him.
read more here

Friday, September 18, 2015

Missing In America's Bill Henry Killed in Motorcycle Crash

Motorcycle crash kills advocate for Nebraska veterans
8 hours ago

Bill Henry, an Army paratrooper during the Vietnam War who became an advocate for Nebraska veterans, died Monday of injuries suffered in an Aug. 30 motorcycle crash in Virginia.

This spring, Henry lobbied the Nebraska Legislature to enact a bill making it easier for funeral homes to turn over the unclaimed cremains of veterans to groups like Missing in America Project, which has a Nebraska chapter co-founded by Henry. The legislation passed without opposition.

Henry, 69, also assisted the Department of Veterans Affairs and Heroes of the Heartland Foundation to help veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, something he struggled with himself following three tours in Vietnam.

"He had control of his demons, and he was there to help the other soldiers," said Larry Schaber, a friend and co-founder of the Nebraska Missing in America Project chapter.

The day of the crash, Henry was part of a convoy escorting six veterans' cremains from California to be interred at Arlington National Cemetery. Henry stopped to take a picture, hopped back on his 2010 Victory Cross Country and tried to catch up.
read more here

Thursday, July 30, 2015

“Missing in America Project” Will Honor 21 Utah Veterans

Unclaimed Weber County vets to get full military funerals
Mitch Shaw
July 30, 2015
To date, the MIAP has interred 2,441 veterans across the country. The organization estimates the remains of 200,000 to 300,000 veterans are still unclaimed.
OGDEN — They have no known family and some of them have been dead for nearly 20 years, but this weekend a group of Utah veterans will finally receive the resting place they deserve.

On Aug. 1, an organization known as the “Missing in America Project” will honor 21 Utah veterans whose remains have been in the care of area mortuaries, in some cases for as long as 18 years, but have remained unclaimed.

A full military service will be held for the veterans at 9 a.m. at the Utah Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 17111 S. Camp Williams Road, Riverton.

Eleven of the veterans are from Weber County and 10 hail from Salt Lake County.

A pair of Salt Lake County veterans who have been in the care of family will also be included in the service.

Roger Graves, a Cedar City resident who oversees the MIAP project in a five-state region that also includes Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming and Montana, said the MIAP’s mission is to locate, identify and inter the unclaimed cremated remains of veterans to “provide honor and respect to those who have served this country,” by securing a final resting place for veterans that Graves calls “Forgotten Heroes.”
read more here

Saturday, April 21, 2012

16 forgotten veterans in Tucson receive military funerals

16 homeless and indigent veterans honored today
Posted: Apr 20, 2012
Sixteen indigent and homeless Arizona veterans are being laid to rest today as part of a project conducted by members of the Arizona Missing in America Project, the Veterans Recovery Program.

The national organization locates unclaimed remains and works with VA offices to determine the veterans' status so they can provide a military honors service for them.
read more here

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Daughter of unclaimed Ohio veteran steps forward

Daughter of unclaimed Ohio veteran steps forward
By Barbara Rodriguez
The Associated Press
Posted Apr 10, 2012

COLUMBUS The daughter of an Air Force veteran whose cremated remains lay unclaimed for years alongside those of about a dozen other servicemen at a funeral home said she finds closure in knowing several groups want a burial including full military honors for him.

Julie Dickerson, the daughter of Staff Sgt. Russell Andrews Jr., said her family recognized his name during a news telecast about a military burial being prepared for the unclaimed remains of 10 Ohio veterans.

“I was surprised and kind of shocked,” she said. “But in a good way.”

Dickerson said she plans to attend the May 22 burial at Dayton National Cemetery. The burial is being coordinated by the Missing in America Project, a national group that seeks unclaimed veterans’ remains so they can be laid to rest with full military honors.

The remains of 12 veterans were discovered, but the families of two veterans declined the burial.
read more here

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Funeral for 16 forgotten veterans held for first time in Utah

Funeral for forgotten veterans held for first time in Utah

Published: 8/15 3:47 pm
Reported by: Brian Carlson

RIVERTON, Utah (ABC 4 News) - For the first time, a national group which honors forgotten veterans held a special type of funeral in Utah Monday. The Missing in America Project is remembering 16 military men and women who died in Salt Lake County but no one claimed their bodies.

Monday those that were forgotten are being remembered.

“We adopt them as one of our own today,” said Brig. Gen Michael R. Liechty, National Guard Bureau.

They are the remains of 15 military men and one military woman who all died in Utah, but their bodies were never claimed.

read more here

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Veterans’ unclaimed remains buried in emotional ceremony

Veterans’ unclaimed remains buried in emotional ceremony
Photo by Melissa Treolo.

A student at Fort Leavenworth’s Command and General Staff College silently pays tribute over the remains formerly unclaimed World War I veterans during Tuesday’s funeral services at Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery. In all, the cremains of14 veterans, including one dating to the Civil War, were laid to rest after decades languishing on the storage shelves of a Missouri-based funeral home.

By Melissa Treolo
August 3, 2011

Fort Leavenworth — Sun Rodgers of Leavenworth and Betty Wright of Shawnee cried and clung together during last week’s funeral service at Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery.

The two Gold Star Mothers didn’t know the 14 veterans and three veterans’ wives who were buried July 26 in a military funeral organized by the Missing in America Project, but they said the experience was still an emotional one. It brought fresh to mind the sons they had lost — Rodgers’ son, Sgt. Ricky Rodgers, to an illness in 2005 while stationed at Fort Polk, La.; and Wright’s son, Pvt. Shawn Wright, to suicide in 1991 while home on leave.

Shortly after their deaths, Ricky Rodgers and Shawn Wright received appropriate burials with military honors. The honors bestowed on the 14 veterans buried last week, however, were long overdue.

Pvt. George McCarthy served in the Civil War and died in 1946 at the age of 102. He was cremated and his ashes sat unclaimed in the storage of Missouri-based funeral home D.W. Newcomer’s Sons for more than 60 years. Cremains of the 13 other veterans, all of whom served in World War I, suffered a similar fate, having no one to claim them for decades.

That is, until the Missing in America Project stepped in. The national nonprofit organization works closely with funeral homes to validate and give proper burial services to veterans left unclaimed by family members. Linda Smith, head of operations for the organization, says any given funeral home in the United States could have anywhere from 10 to 1,000 sets of veterans’ cremains in its storage. Usually state laws dictate that funeral homes must hold onto those remains until such time as they are claimed, Smith said. It is the Missing In America Project’s goal to claim and validate as many unclaimed veterans as possible, making sure each and every one is buried, with appropriate military honors, in a national cemetery.
read more here
Veterans unclaimed remains buried in emotional ceremony

Monday, January 10, 2011

Mass Burial Planned for 20 Unclaimed Vets

Mass Burial Planned for Unclaimed Vets
January 08, 2011
Associated Press
GARDEN CITY, N.Y. -- Anderson Alston served as an Army master sergeant in World War II. Private Frederick Hunter was a soldier from 1968 to 1971. Myron Sanford Mabry was in the Navy from May 1960 to July 1971. All of them died recently in New York City with no one to claim their remains.
Ordinarily, they would have been quietly buried in a potter's field, their graves unmarked.

Instead, they and 17 other veterans who died in recent months will receive full military honors at a mass funeral this weekend, including prayers over their flag-draped coffins, bagpipers, the playing of taps and local congressmen offering condolences.

The mass service Saturday at Calverton National Cemetery on eastern Long Island - the largest of it kind in U.S. history, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs - is part of a national initiative in recent years to clear a massive backlog of unburied or unclaimed cremated remains of both veterans and non-veterans.

"Our government promised every veteran a decent burial; that doesn't include sitting on a shelf in some funeral home basement," said Fred Salanti of Redding, Calif. The retired Army major is the founder and executive director of the Missing in America Project, which strives to provide a respectful funeral for any veteran who received an honorable discharge.
read more here
Mass Burial Planned for Unclaimed Vets