Unclaimed veterans honored interred at National Cemetery - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Unclaimed veterans honored, interred at Florence National Cemetery

Florence National Cemetery (Source: Brennan Somers) Florence National Cemetery (Source: Brennan Somers)
Florence National Cemetery (Source: Brennan Somers) Florence National Cemetery (Source: Brennan Somers)
Crowd at Florence National Cemetery (Source: Brennan Somers) Crowd at Florence National Cemetery (Source: Brennan Somers)
Awaiting ceremony (Source: Brennan Somers) Awaiting ceremony (Source: Brennan Somers)
FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) –  Some of our nation's heroes still have not received a proper military burial even though it has been years since they died.  The reason is their remains sit unclaimed.

However, one group is helping these fallen veterans get back where they belong, including two men who made it back home Friday.

Veterans Joseph Berra and Jorge Fuentes finally made it to their final resting place where they will remain next to their brothers and sisters in arms at the Florence National Cemetery.

It is a day some never thought would come because when Berra and Fuentes passed away, neither had any immediate family.  No one could give them a proper funeral or to even knew they died.

That is where the Missing in America Project comes in.

If we can get their names and find out who they were and if they were veterans then we can give them the service they deserve, said Larry Truax with the American Legion.

Truax and countless others have made it their mission to find unclaimed remains belonging to veterans but doing that has not been easy.

Just a few years ago, ceremonies like the one in Florence did not exist in the state because at the time under state law veterans groups could not get access to the unclaimed, cremated remains of their fellow veterans.


The law was changed and now there have been nine different ceremonies honoring more than 60 veterans.

Truax said sometimes they find out who a veteran is and they give them the full military funeral service without ever finding someone who knew the veteran being honored.  Sometimes that is not the case.
           

Brian White came out to the ceremony to remember a man he did know but not as a veteran.

White met Jorge Fuentes a few years back.  He said Fuentes, who was homeless, was a kind and caring man who became part of his family..

He can rest in peace now, added White.  I'm glad he can rest amongst his veterans and it's a sense of closure."

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