Unclaimed by kin, two Trenton veterans laid to rest by family in uniform
Unclaimed by kin, two Trenton veterans laid to rest by family in uniform | NJ.com
NORTH HANOVER — Two Trenton soldiers and four brothers-in-arms made the last leg of their journey in the bed of a “five-ton” military truck yesterday, their ashes stored in urns that had made their way from Hamilton to the military cemetery where they can finally rest in peace.
The ashes of these six U.S. veterans sat abandoned in the back of funeral homes, some for nearly 20 years, until the New Jersey Mission of Honor began the process of getting them the military funerals it felt they deserved.
“They’re left waiting in an attic or a cellar in a mildewed, rotted-out or rusted can or box,” said Francis Carrasco, chairman of the New Jersey Mission of Honor. “Our veterans should never be treated like that. These people fought to give us the right ... and we leave them on shelves.”
Mission of Honor’s purpose is to find the abandoned ashes of American veterans across the state and give them a proper military burial. When a veteran dies without any living relatives, the remains are often left to sit on a funeral parlor shelf for years, said Carrasco, a Vietnam veteran and Purple Heart recipient.