It should be obvious that our veterans deserve only reverence and honor.
Tragically, many veterans who have bravely served their nation and frequently made a great deal of personal sacrifice is forgotten as they age and are left alone.
Some people have living relatives but choose not to claim them.
But these brave men and women who risked their lives to serve our nation deserve a respectful funeral more than anyone else.
That is why tales like this do more than make me grin. They acted as role models for everyone.
The Florida National Cemetery conducts a service for unclaimed and indigent veterans once every three months, but cemetery officials said they are open to other types of services.
In the 1950s, Robert Krause served in the Marines. He had no relatives and no one to claim him when he passed away.
”I’ve heard it said that a veteran dies twice: once on the battlefield and the second time when people stop saying his name,” said Nick Morales, a veteran of both the Marine Corps and the U.S. Army.
”If there’s anything we can do to prevent the latter, so be it.”
Robert’s casket was to be escorted from the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital to the Florida National Cemetery by Nick and his other volunteer bikers, who attended Robert’s funeral ceremony.
Because no veteran should be laid to rest by themselves, the bikers said it is a privilege to take part.
“Our motto is ‘vets helping vets,’” Nick Morales said.
“We’re not going to let any vet go to their final resting place alone.”
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“We all have a common bond of service – our service, what we’ve done for our country. And regardless of what we’ve done after our service, we still have that bond.”
With a motorcycle escort, Robert got the send-off he so richly deserved. They were there to honor him by mentioning his name.
With the sound of Taps, his duty was over.
“It’s not just Taps for Mr. Krause; it’s for all of us who have fallen. It’s embedded in us,” Morales added.
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