Biloxi National Cemetery started Unattended Veteran's Service

Biloxi National Cemetery started Unattended Veteran's Service

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The Biloxi National Cemetery is taking that final walk with veterans who did not receive a committal service during their burial. They are calling it the Unattended Veteran's Service.

Thursday, a committal service, which included the gun salute and presentation of the flag, was held for two veterans. Several people, who never even knew the deceased, showed up to honor them for their service.

"We pray that they will never be forgotten. We pray for their families, that in their sorrow they might find relief," said Chief Chaplin service at Gulfport 
Gary Yarberry.

John Caldwell and Andrew Chisholm never received a proper military funeral. But this week they finally got the recognition they earned.

"Today was the first time that we honored veterans who came out and had their internment done here but did not have a committal service," said Cemetery Director Celethia Reed.

The Keesler Air Force Base Honor Guard performed the military honors. Patriot Guard riders, as well as several veterans, were in attendance to witness the service.

"It's to honor the veterans who fought for the country and have died and have sacrificed everything they had, and sacrificed family time," said Cemetery Caretaker Vance Starita.

"We remember veterans. They did not have family members present and so we wanted to honor them by being there. And on behalf of their family and friends that couldn't be here, we wanted to make sure they had someone to remember them and pay last respects," said Yarberry.

"The veterans are a very small percentage of the people in our country that have actually given up their life and their time and years of service to give us what we have, the rest of the population here. So we really appreciate that," said Senior Ride Captain with Patriot Guard Riders Sandy Schlett.

The committal service will be held on the last Thursday of every month. The unattended veterans' service will take place after the regularly scheduled 1:30 p.m. service has been completed. The public is encouraged to attend.

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