23. That’s the number of veterans and spouses interred after years of being left unclaimed at various funeral homes around the county. With full military honors, these bygone heroes who had stepped up to serve our country (even one FEMALE WWI Veteran!) and had later been forgotten, left behind unclaimed, or estranged from loved ones were buried at South Florida’s National Cemetery.
As their names were read off, as their cremated remains passed by, as TAPS was played, I sobbed thinking of the lives represented in those urns. They had served valiantly on the field and been left behind after death. The heartfelt honor and respect showed them at the Missing In America Project’s beautiful ceremony is something I hope all of you take the opportunity to discover for yourselves at an event near you.
Most precious moment of the day was spent speaking to a vet who had recently served in Afghanistan. As his three year old son ran around with my boys, he talked quietly with me about his PTSD, struggles with suicidal thoughts, and how coming to the cemetery and events like this funeral helped him heal. War had taken its toll on this single dad who had been homeless, addicted, and broken. I invited him to our church that has a campus near where he is staying, and I hope you’ll join me in praying that God would continue to reveal His loving kindness to this soldier.
The news clip below is worth the few minutes of time to understand fully the impact of the Missing In America Project. And it features *yours truly* briefly…