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Ceremony Honors Veterans Without Families

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Tracy Kornet
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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Five veterans were given a hero’s goodbye on Monday thanks to the Dignity Memorial Homeless Veterans Burial Program. Some of those honored were living on the streets. Others spent their last days in nursing homes. But all had served our country.

– John Hurt, U.S. Army
— Terry Jackson, U.S. Army
— Maurice Wells, U.S. Army
— Robert Funk, U.S. Coast Guard
— Kenneth Lee, U.S. Army

They say when you join the military, you become a part of a family. And when you are family, you show up. In two graveside ceremonies at DFW National Cemetery on Monday, Patriot Guard Riders and other volunteers honored those five veterans whose families could not be located.

More than 70 homeless or indigent military veterans have been buried this way since 2013. The services are coordinated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Dignity Memorial, which prepares the bodies and provides the caskets. “This great country provides a place where they will lay with heroes,” said Rick Crabb with the Patriot Guard Riders. “They will get a stone. The flag is presented.”

The Patriot Guard Riders will continue to look for each veteran’s loved ones. They hope to present the flag to those families, along with a written scenario and photos from the burial service.

“I can’t imagine the life he lived,” said volunteer Sheryl McBroom. “We don’t even know what wars he fought in. Don’t know so much about him. But you don’t have to know a lot to care.”

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