Vietnam vet to help fallen heroes receive proper burials - WNEM TV 5

Vietnam vet to help fallen heroes receive proper burials

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    The remains of veterans have gone unclaimed for years and now there's an effort to get them properly buried. A folded American flag is a final honor for fallen military veterans. It is presented to their families at funerals. "Our veterans deserve a proper burial," said Paul Campbell, funeral director Campbell-Stocking Family Funeral Home. He said there may be some who served who have never receive that honor. In his funeral home there are the cremated remains of 16 ...

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    The remains of veterans have gone unclaimed for years and now there's an effort to get them properly buried. 

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MID-MICHIGAN (WNEM) -

They served their country years ago, but their remains went unclaimed.

A former Vietnam veteran won't let them be forgotten. He's making sure they receive a proper burial.

Stan Mathewson was called to service 50 years ago. He proudly served his country in Vietnam.

"There's an old cliche that once you're in the service, they are your brothers and sisters and they are," Mathewson said.

The Army veteran said that bond is just as strong a half century later.

Mathewson is a member of the Forgotten Eagles. The club honors fallen service members at their funerals.

He said they leave no one behind.

"When something happens to your family it happens to you. And it does. It affects us, all of us," Mathewson said.

Mathewson recently learned some of his brothers have been forgotten. He discovered three Mid-Michigan funeral homes have unclaimed remains sitting in urns on shelves and some of them are military members who never received a proper funeral.

"They're just laying there collecting, excuse the expression, dust. So we want these men, who put their life on the line, honored. They deserve it. They earned it," Mathewson said.

He plans to work with funeral homes and start that process. He hopes the custom-made hearse on the back of his motorcycle will soon be the last ride for the remains of veterans to their final and proper resting place.

"It's tough to know that these guys are just laying around and no one knows what to do with them. We found something to do with them. We are going to take care of these guys," Mathewson said.

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