21 unclaimed Utah veterans to receive full military funeral
OGDEN, Utah — A group of 21 Utah veterans will receive a full military service and funeral after going for nearly 20 years without a final resting place.
The Missing in America Project is honoring the veterans whose remains have been unclaimed in area mortuaries, the Standard Examiner reported. The Aug. 1 service will be held at the Utah Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Bluffdale.
Eleven of the veterans are from Weber County and the other 10 are from Salt Lake County. Two veterans who have been in the care of family will also be included in the service. One soldier has been in the care of a mortuary for 18 years.
The Missing in America Project has interred 2,441 veterans across the country since it began.
Cedar City resident Roger Graves oversees the project in Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming and Montana.
"To put it in the simplest terms, we travel all over the country, going to funeral homes, crematoriums and coroner's offices searching out unclaimed cremated remains," Graves said. "Then we find out if they were veterans, and if they were honorably discharged, we honor them (with a military funeral)."
The group has estimated the remains of between 200,000 and 300,000 veterans are still unclaimed nationwide.
"There is a lot of work to be done," Graves said. "But we're not jumping in trying to recruit armies of volunteers, because it has to be done right."
Information from: Standard-Examiner