Three unclaimed veterans were honored by a crowd of strangers in Indianapolis, Indiana this week.
Veterans Richard Clay Messina, Leland Wall, and Gary Haaq all have two things in common – they served in the United States Military, and died without any living relatives. Despite their lack of relatives, the community in Indianapolis recently came together to ensure these heroes get the send-off they deserve.
“Although there’s no biological family, there’s the ‘United States’ family that’s here today,” said the Pastor of the Agape Apostolic Faith Assembly Church, where the ceremony was held.
“We’ve invited everyone, the whole community,” said Ursula Washington, the funeral director. “It’s very important for us to be able to just give back to these individuals.”
Both civilians and veterans alike showed up to pay their respects.
“We don’t leave a brother or sister behind,” said Veterans Outreach Specialist Bill Moylan, a veteran himself. Moylan even brought along his Vet Center truck, which provides veterans with the space they need to seek counseling if they need someone to talk to.
“Once you are enlisted or are in the service, everybody is family to us. So, we’re here just in case there are people here who want to talk,” he said to Fox 6 News.
“I personally served in the United States Marine Corps, and as a veteran, there’s a sense of loyalty and comradery among military personnel,” said Roberts. “When you hear that there’s a veteran that’s been identified as unclaimed, it’s important for us to come out and support that individual.”
Thank you for your service, gentlemen.