Unclaimed veterans honored in Amarillo

Four unclaimed veterans from the Army, Navy and Air Force. (By: Steve Douglass, KVII)

Homeless veterans left unclaimed by family after death were honored Tuesday in Amarillo. While there were no blood relatives there to celebrate their lives, their military family and the community came to say their final good byes.

Bowed heads and hats in hand as well as many salutes greeted the four veterans' ashes on their journey to their final resting place. The lawn of the Potter County courthouse is just the start of their trip to Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio.

"Every vet that served honorably is entitled to full military honors at their funeral service,” said Don Spence, commander for Volleys for Veterans. "There was just no one to claim the ashes after their death."

The volunteer group Volleys for Veterans of Amarillo provided recognition for the men that served in the Army, Navy and Air Force.

“It is a great honor for us to be able to do these military honors for these four homeless veterans,” said Col. Hoffman, a military chaplain. “They are part of our family."

Potter County Judge Nancy Tanner received the flag that honored the veterans.

"I got really emotional about receiving this American flag and it means a lot to me,” she said. "It makes me very, very proud not only to be a Texan but an American."

This is not the end of the honors. The veterans will be get recognition all long their 500-mile journey to San Antonio. The veterans will be buried on Thursday. Judge Tanner will speak during their military funeral in San Antonio.

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