Eight forgotten veterans honored years after service - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Eight forgotten veterans honored years after service

Nick Montes
Channel 2 News

Despite Monday's rainy weather, there was a special ceremony to honor eight veterans and one of their wives who passed years ago. 

But, their stories are a little different than other veterans who have been recognized for their service. These veterans were once considered forgotten, until now. The veterans and one of their wives were cremated but their ashes were never claimed. With the help of a veteran organization, they were finally laid to rest.  

Inside the urns are forgotten military members from years ago. They were given a hero's salute with full honors and taps on a gloomy day. After all these years of being abandoned these eight men are being recognized for their service to their country. The veterans interred were U.S. Army Cpl. Orvy P. Bolton and his spouse Ellen Bolton, U.S. Airforce Airman Michael G. McMichaels, U.S. Army Pvt. Lawrence A. Besaw, U.S. Navy B.M.S.M William Grow, U.S. Marines Cpl. Albert Keith, U.S. Army Spc. Duane Lockhart, U.S. Army Pvt. Elwin V. Rogers, and U.S. Army Pvt. Charles Sherman.

The men were cremated and left on the shelves for years, unclaimed at the Albertson Funeral Home in Winnemucca, dating as far back as 1987 to as recent 2000. "Nameless, no family, no friends, it's something that just can't happen," said Fred Salanti, founder of Missing in America Project.

But, the project worked to bring the eight men and one of their wives to their final resting place at the Fernley Veterans Cemetery. "I don't want to be left on a shelf and I won't let any of our brothers be left on the shelf," Salanti says.  

Salanti is a veteran himself. He says there are a number of reasons why his comrades are accidentally left behind at the funeral home. "One dies before, and their spouse says keep them until I die," he says.  

But, Salanti says the spouses forget about their loved ones. "They get put in an assisted living place they die or go live with children," he adds. 

Salanti got the idea to service these unclaimed heroes, after realizing there are veterans who are homeless, indigent and with no money from their family. "Those of us veterans that feel, a little lost where we are that this gives us closure to help somebody else," he said.  

And on this day hopefully give those who served the peace they deserve on a day where patriotism is found just about everywhere.  

The Fernley Veterans Cemetery says the veterans' final resting place will be well-documented in case any family members come forward.

Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 Sarkes Tarzian, Inc. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.