I was a member of the U.S. Coast Guard from '93-'94. Although some may disagree, I do not consider myself to be a Veteran. To me, a Veteran is someone who sacrifices their lives to serve this country every day. I was nothing more than a well-paid janitor strait out of high school. I was never in a war. I didn't have to watch my comrades fall in a battle. I saw no blood. Veteran or not, it breaks my heart to read the story of the twenty "Unclaimed Veterans" who were buried with full military honors in New York this week.
I may not have marched in the infantry, but I have no doubt in my mind that these "VETERANS" once had a mother who begged her son not to enlist, or a wife who sobbed as she heard the news of her husbands orders, or a child who bore his daddy's name. Surely those "Unclaimed Veterans" received letters from loved ones, or their photographs are displayed on someone's wall. Didn't any of them receive a hug before they left for their "last" duty?
The bodies of those "Unclaimed Veterans" were laid to rest without a drop of their loved one's tears falling upon them. They sacrificed their lives to serve this country and died forgotten. The heroic legacies of those twenty men and women lay dead and buried along side of each one of them...until somebody claims their remains. God rest their souls.
Pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up. Ecclesiastes 4:10