I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. As we celebrate the holidays, let’s remember those less fortunate than we are and do what we can through time, prayers or donations to help, especially our hometown veterans and their families in need.
As Veteran Service Officer, I come in contact with organizations that do some pretty amazing things for veterans and recently I read about the “Missing in America Project.” Their mission statement really touched me deeply so I wanted to share this with my readers.
Few realize there are veterans who passed away and their cremated remains are unclaimed and forgotten. It’s a sad reality but some veterans have no family to handle their final arrangements. This organization made it their mission to identify these hero’s and see to it that they have a fitting burial with all of the honors they deserve.
They work with local organizations like the American Legion and other volunteer veterans’ groups, local funeral homes, and within the law in coordination with state and local agencies and the Department of Veterans Affairs and National Cemetery, verify the veterans’ military service and ensure these forgotten servants of freedom are buried with dignity.
You can find them on the web at Missing in America Project, www.miap.us.
Military personnel have the option to be buried in a National Cemetery. Family members should know the veterans wishes, have a copy of their discharge papers and notify the funeral home that the deceased is a veteran so they can make the appropriate arrangements with the National Cemetery and if requested, an Honor Guard. Arrangements for burial at a National Cemetery are not made in advance; only at the time of death.
If the family is unable to locate military documentation, this office can make an emergency request to Personnel Records Center in St. Louis using a Standard Form 180.
If you have any questions, please contact this office at 817-579-3292.