Military News

The veterans were buried alone. That changed Thursday.

In the past month, six veterans have been buried at Biloxi National Cemetery without an interment service or with a service that was unattended.

Those veterans — Army Cpl. James Riguaud, Air Force Master Sgt. Charles T. Williams, Army serviceman Emery E. Iversen, Army Pfc. Lawrence J. Hudson Jr., Army Pfc. Minor L. Henderson Jr. and Army Sgt. Robert A. Patterson — were honored with a public committal service Thursday.

The monthly services, begun several months ago to combine previous programs that had sought people to attend individual funerals of unattended veterans, take place the last Thursday of each month.

On Thursday, in the light drizzle, seven members of the Patriot Guard and a group of airmen from Keesler Air Force Base, along with several Coastians, gathered to remember the six.

A Keesler Air Force Base Honor Guard performed military honors and presented the flag to a member of the Patriot Guard who accepted it symbolically on behalf of all the veterans honored.

The services take place so “no one goes to their grave alone,” said cemetery representative Becky Sutcliffe, who conducted much of the ceremony.

“We feel obligated to do it,” she said. “It’s not a chore. It’s an honor.”