Homeless Veterans Given ‘Final Tribute’ From Caring Teens

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High School students serve as pallbearers for the forgotten veterans

The need for society to care for homeless veterans, while alive and deceased is great.  According to the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development, about 50,000 homeless veterans are living on the streets in America.  In fact, per Volunteers of America, there are more homeless Vietnam-era veterans today than there were casualties during the war.   And the homeless veteran population is growing with the great numbers of military returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan.

But out of this horrible situation, a selfless group of young men have given of their time and effort to make sure the unclaimed remains of veterans in the Detroit area receive a dignified, Christian burial.

Read their inspiring story here.  

Too many veterans die alone without family or friends to mourn their passing. Sometimes it happens because of age, but too often it happens because they are homeless.

Junior and senior students at the University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy decided no veteran should be buried without recognition for his or her military service to our country. To make sure these men and women receive the honor and dignity they deserve at death these students are acting as pallbearers for those who might otherwise have no one at their graveside or funeral.

“The men we honored today put their lives on the line for our country and now they deserve our dignity and service in return,” said senior-year student Leonard Froehlich. “There is no better way to pay our respects than by being pallbearers. We honor these service members by being with them in their last moments on earth, and that in itself is a privilege.”

Their respect and service goes much farther. Before each funeral, the student pallbearers pray for the deceased. They travel by student carpool, take part in funeral procession, carry the casket to the grave and share in the prayers of committal. After returning to school, students reflect prayerfully on their experience.

The program began on October 20 when six senior-year students served as pallbearers for the funerals of three unclaimed veterans at the Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly. A.J. Desmond & Sons Funeral Directors conducted the three veterans’ funerals…

You can read the entire article here.

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