JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- With a prayer and a salute, Navy Veteran Raymond Regis Garrity was laid to rest Friday at the Jacksonville National Cemetery. He died a year ago. His remains were cremated. But no one ever came to pick up his ashes.
"Sometimes there's no family members," said Jerry Nackashi of the Corey-Kerlin Funeral Home, where Garrity's ashes were found. "And sometimes a loved one is too sick to claim the body, the ashes. And sometimes they're forgotten."
Enter The Missing in America Project, a non-profit group which works with funeral homes to find unclaimed remains of veterans. Once they're found, they're given a funeral with full military honors.
Kathy Church with MIAP said, "There's a lot out there. We have located here in Jacksonville so far almost 47."
The group believes it's the duty to make sure the brave men and women who serve our nation are honored.
"Why is it important?" asked veteran Steven Spickelmier. "Because that one time in their life they stood up to defend this country." And now, others who defended this country are standing up for him.
The Missing in America Project says it's found the remains of troops from as far back as the Civil War. Their goal is to find as many as possible and give them the burial they deserve.
To learn more about the Missing in America Project, visit www.miap.us