The VVA Veteran® Online

November/December 2013

Parade Rest: Chapter 32 Honors the Forgotten


On October 17 twelve members of Queens, New York, Chapter 32 traveled to Calverton National Cemetery to remember eighty-five departed brothers. The chapter members hadn’t actually known any of these men. Most, in fact, had died penniless or without family or friends, and their bodies had lain unclaimed at the New York Medical Examiner’s Office.

The shared bond was service.

Chapter members had worked closely with city officials. Together they had devised a workaround: Chapter 32 was designated an “organizational friend.” As such, the chapter was given charge for veterans who have been forgotten by their families, their government, and society in general.

As an organizational friend, Chapter 32 assumes responsibility for the final care of veterans who are indigent or who have no surviving family. In partnership with Hess-Miller Funeral Home in Middle Village, New York, chapter members see to it that these veterans receive a decent burial at a national cemetery. Most often they are buried at Calverton.

Hess-Miller provides the hearse and casket for each veteran at no cost to the chapter. Chapter members have made the seventy-mile trek many times regardless of weather.

In October chapter members visited the graves of these almost-forgotten brothers in arms. At each gravesite, an American flag was left and Taps played.

“This is something Chapter 32 does every October to remember and honor these men,” said Chapter President Paul Narson. “We have had the privilege of making sure no veteran ever has to be buried in Potter’s Field or alone.”

Chapter 32 Honors the Forgotten.Parade Rest
Chapter 32 Honors the Forgotten.
Asheville, North Carolina, Chapter 124Operation Old Flag
Asheville, North Carolina, Chapter 124
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