Unclaimed Veteran Remains Receive Final Respects

Four veterans who died on the streets of Amarillo are receiving the final respects they deserve.

Those veterans were homeless when they died.

The Missing in America project began ten years ago and so far, they've identified thousands of veterans remains that have been sitting on shelves in county governments across the country.

That's how these men were discovered.

The men are:

  • Seaman Apprentice Jerry Harris of the US Navy,
  • Army Specialist Laird Orton Junior,
  • Senior Airman Micheal Papinchak of the Air Force, and
  • Sergeant Michael Topp also of the Air Force.

The men were cremated in 2015 and have been sitting in urns on a shelf since then.

Today was the beginning of their final journey.

Dozens showed up to the old Potter County Courthouse today to pay their final respects to the men who served their country with honor but, were left to die alone on the streets.

Carver says it concerns him that there are so many veterans whose remains are sitting unclaimed in storage rooms across the country.

Again, today was just the beginning of their final journey.

Thursday morning at 6, those four veterans will be escorted to San Antonio where they will be interred at the National Cemetery with full military honors.

To date, The Missing in America Project has identified nearly 3,400 cremains of veterans; almost all of them have been interred at national cemeteries.


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