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Burial ceremony for 6 Alabama veterans, 1 spouse whose remains were unclaimed for decades

An honor guard waits to escort the cremated remains of six Alabama veterans and one qualifying...
An honor guard waits to escort the cremated remains of six Alabama veterans and one qualifying spouse.(WBRC-TV)
Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 1:45 PM CDT
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MONTEVALLO, Ala. (WBRC) - With a patriot guard escort, a hearse carrying the remains of six Alabama veterans and the wife of a WWI soldier rolled up to the Alabama National Cemetery Tuesday for a ceremony that’s been decades in the making for each of these families.

These seven sets of remains have sat unclaimed for an average of 44 years, until volunteers from the Missing In America (MIAP) Project found them, and did the research to trace their service history and make sure they were given the proper burial they earned by serving our country.

The veterans buried Tuesday served in WWI, WWII, Korea, or Vietnam, and might still be sitting somewhere unclaimed if not for the work of MIAP volunteers.

“I travel around the country, but 44 states have local coordinators who go to the funeral homes trying to locate unclaimed veterans,” explained Linda K. Smith, the National Director of MIAP Veterans recovery program. “There’s probably several hundred thousand unclaimed veterans sitting in funeral homes, coroners offices.”

“I just wanna stress how important it is,” emphasized Adm. Kent Davis (Ret.), Commissioner of The Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs. “We have a tradition in this country of not leaving veterans behind. That not only included missing in action overseas, that also includes those who are missing in America and whose unclaimed remains have not been given a final resting place, so this is important.”

To volunteer or donate to MIAP you can visit their website here.

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