MEDICAL LAKE, Wash. – The Washington State Veterans Cemetery received the cremated remains of 28 unclaimed veterans Wednesday afternoon.
The Washington State Missing in America Project coordinated with the Patriot Guard and Combat Vet Riders to carry the veteran remains across the state to the cemetery. The mission of these groups is to seek out remains of war veterans that were never claimed and make sure they get the honorable interment they deserve.
Army veteran and Patriot Guard, Dennis Ochs, explained how much the ride meant to him and those left behind. “No matter where you served or when you served, we are all brothers and sisters.”
Patriot Guards say they are the voice that gives the unclaimed veterans the recognition and honor they deserve. pic.twitter.com/VonsRQIwU4— Danamarie McNicholl (@KREMDanamarie) August 30, 2017
These organizations work tirelessly throughout the year, contacting county coroners, medical examiners and funeral homes to locate unclaimed decedents eligible for burial in veteran cemeteries.
Once the veterans are validated and vetted for an honorable discharge, their names are placed online so family members can easily locate them. These individuals are then placed in their final resting place with full military honors in a community interment service at a later date.