LAWTON (KFDX/KJTL) — Unfortunately, there are times when a veteran passes away and sometimes there are no longer family members around to claim them.
Whether it’s one unclaimed veteran, or in today’s case four, from administration to the veteran community, they make sure they aren’t buried alone.
“Being a veteran myself the thought of these veteran brothers of mine not having family here just made me very sad,” Comanche County Veterans Council Chairman George Keck said.
National cemeteries like Fort Sill’s in Elgin, Oklahoma make sure that never happens.
“When we get notified there’s an unclaimed veteran, our first response is let’s make sure we provide a dignified place of internment for them and let’s make sure we memorialize their service,” Fort Sill National Cemetery Administration Matthew Priest said.
From veterans stretching generations to VFW riders and the Comanche County Veterans Council, crowds show up to make sure unclaimed veterans are given the proper burial.
“So they may have died alone, they may have come through the gates of Fort Sill National Cemetery alone, but they certainly had family here as they made their final journey home,” Keck said.
“The community here, the community down in Texas and Wichita Falls especially they do an incredible job. They love their veterans and it’s evident in all that they do, every time we are notified there is an unclaimed they come out in waves. It’s beautiful, it’s inspiring to know that no veteran will be laid to rest alone in a national cemetery,” Priest said.
Inspiring those who served past and present, and showing them that through this unbreakable bond there is always someone there for you.
“If anything, a ceremony today that has people attending like this will help to ensure the fact that if you’re thinking about going into the military, you’re never going to be alone, and if you are in the military rest assured when it’s your turn to go, there’s going to be someone here for you. And for those that have already gone and are looking down, I know they are pleased with what they are doing because they know that nobody in the services has to be alone,” Keck said.
Making sure airman Raymond Stowe, seaman Jon Lewis, hospital corpsman petty officer 3rd class Karl Neff, and Sgt. David Bamberger all of the United States Navy are remembered and honored forever.
They definitely did that this morning with those four vets are now officially laid to rest at Fort Sill National Cemetery.