Showing posts with label military funerals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label military funerals. Show all posts

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Marine Veteran’s Family Can Attend Burial in San Diego

Coronavirus Keeps Marine Veteran’s Family From Attending Burial

NBC 7 News San Diego
By Bridget Naso
March 25, 2020
UPDATE ON 3/25: After NBC 7's reporting, Veterans Affairs, which runs the San Diego national cemeteries, reached out to the Chavez family to tell them 10 people would be allowed at the Marine combat vet's funeral. The family told NBC 7 they are grateful.
Also, new guidelines have been set up for national cemeteries. Military honors will not be conducted due to safety reasons, the VA said. Families can postpone internments and 10 family members will be allowed to attend burials with social distancing. Cemeteries are still open for visitation.

The family of Marine combat veteran Jose Chavez is preparing to lay him to rest, but because of the coronavirus pandemic not one family member or friend will be at the ceremonies.

The 62-year-old retired Master Gunnery Sergeant died March 12 after a two-year battle with cancer.
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Friday, February 14, 2020

Ted Phillips, Navy-Vietnam-Homeless Veteran Laid To Rest By Community

Homeless Navy veteran buried with honor by veteran community

KSN News
by: Byron J. Love
Posted: Feb 13, 2020

WINFIELD, Kan. (KSNW) – Homeless veterans are all too often laid to rest in solemn, sparsely attended services as the surviving family of the deceased can often be difficult, if not impossible, to reach.
Data from a 2019 report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates that approximately 40,056 veterans are homeless on any given night, and over the course of a year that number can double.

The inscription above the Kansas Veterans’ Cemetary mausoleum reads “No one is ever buried alone, all are buried with honor,” and the staff and south-central Kansas veteran community do their best to fulfill that promise.
A great deal is unknown about the life of Ted Phillips, 73, who was laid to rest Thursday at the Kansas Veterans’ Cemetery in Winfield. Phillips, who was born April 5, 1946, according to his service records, served in the United States Navy during the time of the Vietnam war, including duty from 1964 to 1968.
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Monday, January 6, 2020

Planning on visiting Arlington National Cemetery? Better have ID with you.

Arlington Cemetery Implements 100% ID Checks Amid Iran Fears
By Hope Hodge Seck
3 Jan 2020

Arlington National Cemetery is tightening its security protocols and warning visitors to report suspicious activity in the wake of a U.S. strike that killed Gen. Qasem Soleimani, head of Iran's elite Quds force.
Family, friends, and loved ones visit gravesites in Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, May 27, 2019. (U.S. Army/Elizabeth Fraser)
In a series of tweets Friday afternoon, Arlington staff announced that the cemetery, located by the Pentagon and across the Potomac from Washington, D.C., is implementing 100% identification checks at all entrances.

"Effective immediately, all visitors 16 years and older (pedestrians, drivers and passengers) must present a valid state or government issued photo identification upon entering the cemetery," cemetery staff said in tweets. "Visitors include all funeral attendees, tourists, and personnel on official business."
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Sunday, December 8, 2019

Medal of Honor Bruce W. Carter Vietnam War Fallen Hero Needs to Be Buried at Arlington!

War hero’s mother wants son buried at Arlington — 50 years later

Miami Herald
DECEMBER 08, 2019
“Dying for freedom isn’t the worst thing that can happen,” said Carter’s mother, Georgie Carter-Krell, 88, of Virginia Gardens. “Being forgotten is.”
Georgie Carter-Krell, 88, of Virginia Gardens, speaks at a 2011 Veterans Day event about how her son, Pvt. First-Class Bruce W. Carter, was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. THEO KARANTSALIS FOR THE MIAMI HERALD
A teenage Marine knew what to do when he was pinned down by enemy fire in Vietnam and a grenade was tossed between him and his friends.

Pvt. First-Class Bruce W. Carter, 19, was posthumously awarded the nation’s highest medal for valor in combat.

“Dying for freedom isn’t the worst thing that can happen,” said Carter’s mother, Georgie Carter-Krell, 88, of Virginia Gardens. “Being forgotten is.”
Carter-Krell said she has reached out to President Trump’s office for help in transferring her son’s body from Miami to Arlington but has not yet received a call back.

A message from the Herald seeking comment from President Trump’s press office Thursday was not immediately returned.

“Something like this needs to come from the top,” said Carter-Krell.
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Saturday, August 24, 2019

Vietnam veteran taken from pauper's gave to proper burial

Veterans band together to give Vietnam vet a proper burial

Fairfield Citizen
August 24, 2019

"We had so many mixed emotions because of things that had happened over the years," Carla said. "Even today, we still have so many questions and regrets that we didn't force him to talk to us. We would reach out to Billy, and he would ignore our phone calls. Or if he answered the phone and realized it was us, he would hang up on us. It was just really bad. But we loved him nonetheless."

COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) — Billy Harold Watts was a decorated and disabled Vietnam War veteran. He had six children, 14 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

After collapsing in early June while home alone in Marion County, the 70-year-old lost his battle with lung cancer on Father's Day in a Columbus hospice.

Estranged from his family, no next-of-kin was found before he was buried in a pauper's grave.

But through a remarkable series of events, his family was eventually reached and local veterans were alerted. They, along with other caring folks in the community, rallied together to have his body exhumed for a proper burial: a funeral with military honors in his hometown of Oxford, Mississippi.

"It was just a blessing after a blessing at the end of all of this," said daughter-in-law Carla Watts of Jackson, Tennessee.

Billy served for three years active-duty in the U.S. Marines Corps. He earned two Purple Hearts, a National Defense Service Medal, a Vietnamese Service Medal, a Vietnamese Campaign Medal and a Combat Action Ribbon. He was a private when he was honorably discharged in 1970 at age 21.

Although he wasn't diagnosed, Billy had symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder and was "highly medicated by the VA," Carla said. "When we cleaned Billy's house out, we took 26 bottles of narcotics to the sheriff's department and turned them in."

He and his last of six wives divorced in 2001, she said.

"Billy was very much a loner," she said.
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Saturday, August 17, 2019

Calverton Cemetery will 'never let a veteran be forgotten'

Calverton cemetery employees strive to 'never let a veteran be forgotten'

Newsday Long Island
By Martin C. Evans
August 17, 2019
“I turned away and just felt, wow…,” he said. "I felt good that I could make that family feel a little better than when they had when they came here.”
Douglas Chong is a former Army tank mechanic who now works as a landscaper at Calverton National Cemetery. Photo Credit: Martin C. Evans

Richard Hilts was a specialist in the Army a decade ago when his wife’s grandfather, a Navy man who served in World War II, was laid to rest at Calverton National Cemetery.

For the interment, Hilts volunteered to replace a member of the color guard. In his neatly pressed uniform, moving with ceremonial deliberateness, the soldier helped fold the burial flag into a tight tricorner, then knelt to give the colors to the widow.

Today, Hilts is one of the cemetery's nearly 100 employees — 62 are former service members — who prepare final resting places for thousands of veterans every year.

“That tells the story of our mission here — to never let a veteran be forgotten,” said Hilts, 35, of Coram, who studied on the GI Bill at St. Johns University, then went to work setting gravestones at the cemetery the day after he graduated in 2015.

“Yes, we lost some people while I was over there,” Hilts said of his three combat tours in Iraq. “So I’d say this is especially personal for me.”
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Monday, July 29, 2019

Number of veterans committing suicide depends on who counted

When it comes to the number of veterans committing suicide, this shows it depends on who counted. Hint: It is a lot higher than any number you think you know unless you read Wounded Times and will not be shocked by the following article.

Paul Muschick: Military suicides hitting Pennsylvania where you may not expect it

JUL 26, 2019

Not all National Guard members meet the legal definition of a “veteran.” When it comes to suicide, though, that distinction doesn’t matter. The bottom line is that people who served their country are ending their lives, and that has to stop.
Earl (left) and Joe Granville served together in Bosnia and Iraq with the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. Joe Granville took his own life in 2010. (CONTRIBUTED/EARL GRANVILLE)

The men and women who enlist in the Pennsylvania National Guard are the best of the best. They’re in shape. They’re smart. They’re motivated.

They’re also committing suicide too often.

In the past four years, 26 Guard members have taken their own lives. Assumptions about why that is happening — that they went to war overseas and came back suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or were unable to adjust to civilian life — aren’t always accurate.

Slightly more than half of them never deployed.
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Sunday, July 28, 2019

Ex-POW Vietnam veteran Richard Burgess remembered for how he loved

Vietnam vet remembered as a hero and friend to all that knew him

Deseret News
Jasen Lee
July 28, 2019
"He could tap into (the sixth sense) of what connected us," Clemmons explained. "He taught me how to pay attention and it's amazing how many times it saved my life."
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Marine Gunnery Sgt. Christopher Chambers and Sgt. Mark Maxfield fold the flag during services for Vietnam War veteran Richard Burgess during services at Camp Williams in Bluffdale on Friday, July 26, 2019.

BLUFFDALE – A onetime prisoner of war, Richard Burgess was a man who spent much of his life looking out for others' interests above his own.

To a person, speakers at his memorial service Friday at the Utah Veterans Memorial Cemetery all noted how selfless and caring a man he was to them and just about everyone he came in contact with.

"I knew he was special all our lives and I thought about him every day almost," said fellow Marine Gary Clemmons, who served with Burgess in Vietnam. "When I think I would have it bad, I would think of Richard (in the POW camp)."

So impactful to some was Burgess' connection with them, they came from miles away to pay their respects during a ceremony conducted with full military honors in Bluffdale. Burgess spent over six years as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam conflict, but didn't allow it the extinguish the kind, generous spirit that ingratiated him to so many people during his 72 years, speakers noted. read it here

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Fallen "brother" remembered by those he served with

Vietnam veterans honor a fallen soldier 50 years later

CBS News
July 19, 2019
But like a lot of Vietnam vets, especially, they find it hard to mourn the loss of a fellow soldier, without also mourning their own survival.

Chester, Illinois — At a cemetery in Illinois, Perry Dotson is 50 years late for the funeral of Army Pfc. Leonard Nitzsche. Lt. Dotson was Leonard's platoon leader in Vietnam, when, in April 1970, their group was attacked and Leonard was killed. They loaded his body on a helicopter and immediately, the platoon went back to the war.

"That was the extent of our grieving. And it just hit me one day, I woke up and I thought, 'I never had a chance to say thank you.' Maybe I just needed some finality," Perry said.

When Perry mentioned this pilgrimage to some of the other guys in his platoon, he found out something he hadn't considered before: That he wasn't alone and there were others who felt the exact same way.

So, they came, too. Tim Roland flew in from McAllen, Texas. Ernie Levesque drove out from Springfield, Massachusetts, and Glenn Fox came from Newport, Nebraska. On arrival, they met Leonard's sister, Linda, at the cemetery. Everyone gathered to pay their respects to Leonard.

"That's why this is so important to us today, because we never got to do this when it happened," Glenn said.
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Monday, July 22, 2019

Vietnam veteran not buried alone...Intern's invitation brought 3,000

Intern's efforts bring 3,000 attendees to funeral of Vietnam veteran who had no living relatives

ABC News
Jul 18, 2019
It wasn’t just the local community that came to pay their respects. Others drove to Michigan from Iowa, Tennessee and Florida to honor the veteran.

When Wayne Wilson passed away in May with no surviving family members, his friends initially planned for a small service of 10 people.

But when Drew Mickel, an intern at Brown Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Niles, Michigan, put out a call to the public inviting them to Wilson’s funeral, the small service turned into a massive gathering as more than 3,000 people showed up from across the country to honor the deceased veteran.

“We were just hoping that some of the public would come out and honor him and pay respects,” Mickel told ABC News. “It turned out that a lot of people showed up, saying that he might not have family but I’ll be his family for the day."

Wilson, a Vietnam War veteran, passed away May 28 at age 67. He served in the army from 1971 to 1977, according to his obituary.
read it here

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

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Vietnam Veteran Sgt. Matthew Francis Kelly made a dying wish to his nurse

Strangers invited to funeral for Vietnam veteran who died alone. ‘I wanted to honor his final wishes,’ his nurse said.

Philadelphia Enquirer
by Melanie Burney
July 9, 2019
Kelly left Vietnam in November 1970 and received an honorable discharge, his records show. Little is known about his life after the military. He returned to Philadelphia. Richello said he had a hard life, “and he was one of the forgotten.”

Former Army Sgt. Matthew Francis Kelly made a dying wish to his nurse: He wanted to be buried with full military honors, a parade, bagpipes, and a 21-gun salute.

In death, Kelly will get what he did not receive in life when he returned home to Philadelphia from the Vietnam War nearly 50 years ago. His nurse, Jennifer Richello, has recruited a band of strangers to keep the promise she made to Kelly on his deathbed a few months ago.

“I wanted to honor his final wishes, and love and respect for his service to our country,” Richello, a registered nurse, said in a statement Tuesday. “Kelly was a good man and deserves this.”

Richello also made a special request to mourners: bring a can of Pepsi to the funeral. Kelly loved the soft drink, she said.
After graduating from high school, Kelly enlisted on Jan. 14, 1969, his 20th birthday. He completed training at Fort Bragg, N.C, and Fort Sill, Okla., according to his military record. He was deployed to Vietnam in December 1969 and served as a communications chief in the 13th Battalion Signal, First Cavalry Division.
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Thursday, July 11, 2019

21 Flags meant to honor veterans burnt at funeral home

A funeral home says 21 US flags honoring veterans on July 4th were set on fire

By Paul P. Murphy
July 10, 2019

(CNN)Twenty-one American flags were found burned at a cemetery in Anderson, South Carolina, according to the funeral home that runs it.

Owner Jess McDougald says his family has never seen anything like it in McDougald Funeral Home's 85 years of operation.

The funeral home has been run by the same family for three generations, since McDougald's grandfather started it, and he says they put out American flags during patriotic holidays.

The remains of the flags were found in a pile, the funeral home says.

"We've put flags out for as long as I can remember," McDougald said. "We've never had a problem." The flags lined the road to the veterans section of the cemetery on the evening of July 3: about 30 of them, 4 feet by 6 feet in size, fixed to 8-foot poles.

But when cemetery staff arrived for work July 5, they found poles in a pile with the burnt remains of 21 flags.
read it here

Sunday, June 30, 2019

"The thing that brings us all together is love..." at Jarheads funeral

'Tough to Lose Your Brothers': Funerals Held for Marine Motorcycle Club Bikers

The Associated Press
By Michael Casey
29 Jun 2019
"The thing that brings us all together is love, love for my Dad." Matthew Ferazzi
Members of the Jarheads Motorcycle Club and a police honor guard salute as the casket of Michael Ferazzi is loaded into a hearse outside St. Peter's Catholic Church in Plymouth, Massachusetts, Friday, June 28, 2019. Ferazzi, a motorcyclist and retired police officer, was killed in a fiery crash that claimed the lives of seven people riding with the Jarheads Motorcycle Club in New Hampshire. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

PLYMOUTH, Mass. (AP) — A motorcyclist who was among seven killed in a collision with a pickup truck last week was a family man, proud Marine and dedicated public servant, mourners said Friday at a funeral that drew about 200 people, including leather-clad bikers and law enforcement officers.

The funeral for Michael Ferazzi, 62, of Contoocook, New Hampshire, was held at a church in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The rumbling of motorcycles echoed through town as dozens of bikes made their way to the service.

Many riders were fellow members of the Jarheads Motorcycle Club, with which Ferazzi and the other six killed were riding when they died. They hugged one another as Ferazzi's flag-draped casket was carried into the church and offered a military salute alongside their bikes as the service ended with the Marine Corps hymn on bagpipes.

"Tough to lose your brothers, especially so many at one time," said Jarheads member Paul Downey as he and his fellow bikers got on their motorcycles for the ride to the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne.

"He had a lot more life in him," said retired Lt. Col. Joe Murray. Ferazzi was in his American Legion post, he said, and the two marched in parades together.

"He didn't need to die when he was obviously enjoying the ride with his buddies," Murray said. "But it's good he died doing something he loved."
read more here

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Korean War Veteran died alone...buried by community, Governor and Senator

Hundreds packed a Korean War veteran's funeral when he died without surviving family members in Nebraska

By Christina Maxouris
June 25, 2019

(CNN)When Dale Quick died earlier this month and left no known survivors, a Nebraska funeral home appealed to his community to make sure he got the funeral he deserved.

"We are appealing to any and all veterans, veterans' clubs and organizations and our community to attend Dale's service to honor an individual who so selflessly served our country," Roper and Sons Funeral Home wrote in an obituary posted to its website.

The 91-year-old "led a simple life" after serving in the military for nearly seven years, the funeral home said.

CNN's Jake Tapper also took to social media to spread the word.

The community heard the call.

On Monday morning, hundreds showed up to pay their respects to Quick, including 50 bikers and flag carriers who led his casket, CNN affiliate KLKN reported.

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts and Sen. Ben Sasse were also there.
read more here

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Iraq veteran's Mom read son died in newspaper...Dad had to tell him bad news...reporting

Fake obituary stuns Chesterfield veteran and his family: ‘I woke up to the sound of my mom crying’

CBS 6 News
JUNE 13, 2019

“We can confirm that a private citizen submitted this false information to the Times-Dispatch through our online obituary portal,” said Jason Dillon, vice president of advertising for the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Justin Felger joined the United States Navy shortly after 9/11 but found his calling as an infantryman in the Virginia Army National Guard, which put him on the front lines in Iraq.
“I wanted to fight for the red, white, and blue,” Felger said. “Every time we went out there, it was every corner, every step we took you had to worry about losing your life.”

Staff Sgt. Felger survived two combat tours.

But last month he became a fallen soldier, or so it was written.

“Woke up to the sound of, well, my mom was crying,” Felger said. “My dad had to break the news to me.”

An obituary published in the May 9 edition of the Richmond Times-Dispatch claimed that the Chesterfield native had died unexpectedly at the age of 36.

Someone had also created a separate memorial website.

The minutes and hours that followed were chaotic.
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Monday, June 10, 2019

Petty Officer James Miske died on May 26 in Columbia, South Carolina.

SC funeral home asks community to serve as family after Vietnam veteran dies alone

FOX 8 News
June 10, 2019

CHAPIN, S.C. — A Vietnam veteran died with no family to take care of his final salute, so a funeral home will take up the duty.

“It is my honor to use the Dignity Memorial Homeless Veterans Program to give this Veteran that final salute. I am reaching out once again asking that you help us serve as family for this previously Unclaimed Veteran,” Caughman-Harman Funeral Home said in a Facebook post Thursday.

Petty Officer James Miske died on May 26 in Columbia, South Carolina.

He was born in 1944 in Chicago and served in the U.S. Navy from 1965 to 1967.

He was assigned to Aviation Administration Maintenance before transferring to Naval Reserves.

“Petty Officer Third Class Miske served his Nation honorably in the Vietnam War receiving a National Defense Service Medal and a Vietnam Service Medal with Bronze Star,” the funeral home wrote.
read more here

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Missing Veteran Died on Memorial Day

Missing Veteran Died on Memorial Day Just after Family Finds Him at San Joaquin General Hospital

FOX 40 News
June 1, 2019

MANTECA -- Alejandro “Alex” Yepez was a loving father of three. The 37-year-old was also a beloved son and a military veteran who served four years in the Army and more than a year in the National Guard.

“He was silly. He always would be silly with them, said the mother of Alex’s children, Desiree Yepez.

Alejandro’s mother, Mary-Elena Mello says Alex will be missed.

“He was a happy person. He was very outgoing, caring, joyful. He brought me a lot of happiness. And he's just... he's gone way too soon,” she said.

Alex’s family says he died in a hospital on Memorial Day after being involved in a crash in Manteca on May 14th.

The family tells FOX40 they have almost no information about what happened.

“The only thing I do know is that he was hit by a vehicle. Was it a truck? Was it a car? I don't even know that,” Mello said.

They say they didn't even know Alex was in the hospital until May 25th.

Mello says she was worried when Alex didn't return home on the 14th and began calling hospitals to find her son.
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Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Florida Vietnam veteran buried in wrong grave?

Vietnam veteran buried in wrong plot in Bartow

By: WFLA 8 On Your Side Staff
Posted: May 13, 2019

"It's sacrilegious. He had his military service here with honors and by the city leading us to believe that all those places were available to purchase, and we don't want to see him dug up," said Sara.
BARTOW, Fla. (WFLA) - A family in Bartow is upset after discovering their loved one was buried in the wrong spot.

The city owns the cemetery and wants to move the body to the right spot, but the family says that would be disrespectful.

A Vietnam veteran, Jerry Paul, was laid to rest two years ago.

"We buried him once, we didn't want to have to do it a second time. We want him kept right where he's at," said Sara Paul, his daughter-in-law.

A year later, the Paul's discovered Jerry was laid to rest in someone else's empty plot, sold to a woman who bought the spot to be next to her family.

The City of Bartow says someone, somehow, marked the wrong grave at the time of the burial. The one the Paul's bought was 20 feet away.
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Friday, May 3, 2019

Vietnam veteran ended 12 year quest to bring best friend home

A final battle: bringing best friend’s remains home from Vietnam

Los Angeles Times
MAY 03, 2019
He took his lawn chair and his lunch and sat beneath the Chinese Elm tree, inches from Raul’s grave. He and his friend, they had a lot of catching up to do.
As kids, Ruben and Raul thought they had life all figured out.

A framed photograph of Raul Guerra, left, as the best man for Ruben Valencia, right, on his wedding day. Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times

They would grow up and live minutes from one another, be best men in each other’s weddings, godfathers to each other’s children. They would sit side by side at Dodger stadium, two old men in a sea of blue.

The friends never imagined that after high school both would be sent to Vietnam — but only one would return.

The loss was so painful that for 40 years Ruben Valencia could hardly bring himself to say Raul Guerra’s name.

“I put everything about him away,” said Ruben, now 74 years old.

But the past can only stay buried for so long. In 2005, Raul’s remains, which had been missing since his plane was shot down in 1967, were recovered and flown to Hawaii. The plan was to hold them there until U.S. officials tracked down his family.

His family, however, was nowhere to be found.

So Ruben set off on a 12-year quest, determined to bring his friend home. The journey would rattle him. It would teach him things about Raul that likely no one knew, and in the end, it would bring the two friends closer than ever.
read more here