Austin (KXAN)- 12 veterans, whose remains have been unclaimed, received a proper funeral with full military honors on Sunday.
The event took place at Camp Mabry, in front of the Traveling Wall.
100,000 veterans go unclaimed each year in the United States and this was the first such occasion in Austin.
“We want people to know there are unclaimed veterans sitting on the shelf gathering dust,” Chaplain Warren Wurzberger with the non-profit Missing in America Project said. “They should receive the military honors that they deserve.”
“At the end of the day it doesn’t matter when they served, where they come from,” Captain Martha Nigrelle of the Texas National Guard said. “We are all brothers and sisters in arms and they paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.”
The veterans will be escorted to their final resting place at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Killeen on April 28th.
Those honored include:
- Capt. James Holver Hook (1903-1984) served in the U.S. Navy from 1942 to 1946 during World War II and in the U.S. Navy Reserves from 1946 until 1964 in Korea and Vietnam.
- Pfc. Donald George Danylock (1955-1989) served in the U.S. Army in 1972 in Vietnam.
- Staff Sgt. John Sidney Clevlen (1922-1982) served in the U.S. Army from 1943 until 1945 during World War II.
- Pvt. Ernest Joseph Bellot (1936-2004) served in the U.S. Army from 1961 until 1964 in Vietnam.
- Capt. David B. Douglas (1910-1998) served in the U.S. Army from 1943 until 1946 during World War II.
- James Ferguson Childress (1925-1986) served in the U.S. Navy as a seaman second class from 1942 until 1946 during World War II; he served in the U.S. Army as a sergeant from 1946 until 1949; and he served in the U.S. Air Force as an airman first class from 1951 until 1961 in Korea.
- 1st Lt. Robert Allen Rach (1924-1996) served in the U.S. Army from 1951 until 1953 in Korea.
- Hospital Corpsman William G. Mayes (1928-2005) served in the U.S. Navy from 1945 until 1949 during World War II and 1949 until 1965 in Korea and Vietnam.
- Cpl. Donald W. Klein (1924-2001) served in the U.S. Army from 1943 until 1946 during World War II. Cpl. Klein was a combat soldier and was awarded the Bronze Star.
- Technician Fifth Grade Edgar R. Potratz (1914-1998) served in the U.S. Army from 1941 until 1945 during World War II.
- Spc. Fourth Class Jerry Wiedemeier (1944-2006) served in the U.S. Army from 1962 until 1965 in Vietnam.
- Spc. Fourth Class Jeffrey Albert Huebner (1959-2003) served in the U.S. Army from 1977 until 1982.