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Omaha National Cemetery honors deceased veterans without family

Posted at 10:23 PM, Oct 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-06 01:17:52-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — At the Omaha National Cemetery, they believe every veteran who is buried there deserves to be remembered and honored for their service.

“They served their nation, and they answered that call," said cemetery director Jason Dolan. "Their service and their duty and what they did for the nation is still recognized regardless of if they have family members that are with them or not.”

Every quarter, the cemetery holds a ceremony just for those unaccompanied veterans - veterans who don’t have any living or known family members.

On Tuesday, three men were honored, veterans of the Vietnam and Persian Gulf wars: Charles Patrick Thorp, Terry Martin Kusch, and Kenneth Wirschke.

Though they came to the cemetery alone, Tuesday these men were on the hearts of the Final Salute Society, a group of veterans from Bellevue, and the Nebraska Patriot Guard.

“It goes with the military motto of ‘no man is ever left alone, or woman, no service member is ever left alone,'" said Dick Harrington, a member of the Final Salute Society.

Mike Parente, a fellow veteran, accepted the ceremonial folded flag, and the three cartridges fire during the rifle volleys representing duty honor, and country.

“It was a great honor to do it on behalf of the veterans not having families or relatives here," Parente said.

These services are always open to the public; the next one is scheduled for January.

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