SOURCE: Dignity Memorial

Dignity Memorial

January 06, 2011 08:00 ET

20 New York Homeless Veterans to Receive Military Funerals

National Dignity Memorial® Homeless Veterans Burial Program Begins in New York Area; Congressmen Steve Israel and Tim Bishop to Deliver Keynotes

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - January 6, 2011) - In a cooperative effort to honor the lives and military service of veterans whose remains are unclaimed, the City of New York, veterans and non-profit organizations, and members of the Dignity Memorial® network of funeral homes and cemeteries will provide military funerals for qualified New York veterans. Through the start of the national Dignity Memorial® Homeless Veterans Burial Program in the New York region, 20 homeless indigent veterans from four New York boroughs will be interred at Calverton National Cemetery on Saturday, January 8 at 11 a.m. Congressmen Tim Bishop (representing the 1st District) and Steve Israel (representing the 2nd District) of New York, will deliver the keynotes.

The Dignity Memorial Homeless Veterans Burial Program has been implemented in 32 cities and has provided services for more than 850 veterans since its inception in 2000. In New York, the following deceased veterans will receive services conducted with military funeral honors, including the folding and presentation of the American flag, the playing of taps and a rifle volley:

  • Anderson Alston -- U.S. Army Master Sergeant Anderson Alston was a combat veteran in WWII. He joined the US Army in August 1943 and was honorably discharged on March 1946.

  • Rafael Arroya -- Private First Class Rafael Arroya joined the US Army in August 1959 and was honorably discharged in July 1971.

  • Barry Carl Brooks -- Veteran Barry Carl Brooks joined the US Air Force in August 1957 and was honorably discharged in 1969. His rank is unknown.

  • John Cronin -- Sr. Airman John Cronin joined the US Air Force in August 1955 and was honorably discharged in May 1958. 

  • Donald Degault -- Private Donald DeGault was a sharpshooter in the US Army. He joined the US Army in April 1963 and was honorably discharged in December 1965.

  • Nichols Ernest -- Private Nichols Ernest joined the US Army in August 1953 and was honorably discharged in August 1956. 

  • Clifford Henry -- Petty Officer Second Class Clifford Henry was a Medical Field Service Technician in the US Navy, as well as a Small Arms Marksman.

  • Henry Hightower -- Private Henry Hightower joined the US Army in March 1943 and was honorably discharged in September 1943.

  • Frederick Hunter -- Private Frederick Hunter joined the US Army in January 1968 and was honorably discharged in January 1971.

  • Theodore Jackson -- Private Theodore Jackson joined the US Army in March 1975 and was honorably discharged in October 1979.

  • Miguel Lugo -- Private First Class Miguel Lugo joined the US Army in January 1954 and served with the Artillery. PFC Lugo was honorably discharged in January 1956. 

  • Myron Sanford Mabry -- Veteran Myron Sanford Madry joined the US Navy in May 1960 and was honorably discharged in July 1971. His rank is unknown.

  • Thomas Miller -- Corporal Thomas Miller joined the US Army in May 1951 and was honorably discharged in May 1954.

  • Michael Nardi -- Private Michael Nardi joined the US Marine Corps in September 1964 and was honorably discharged in October 1967. 

  • Charles Nicholson -- Private Charles Nicholson joined the US Marine Corps in December 1963 and was honorably discharged in July 1964. 

  • John Palazzo -- Seaman Apprentice John Palazzo joined the US Navy in January 1965 and was honorably discharged in January 1967. 

  • Robert Prioleau -- Spec. 4 Robert Prioleau joined the US Army in November 1958 and was honorably discharged in February 1962. 

  • James Rose -- Veteran James Rose served in the US Army and was honorably discharged. His rank is unknown.

  • Robert Thompson -- Veteran Robert Thompson joined the US Air Force in January 1952 and was honorably discharged in January 1956. His rank is unknown.

  • Steven Wrighton -- Private Steven Wrighton joined the US Army in June 1970 and was honorably discharged in October 1970.

"We can't ask any American who is willing to fight in foreign jungles and deserts to sleep on America's streets. Because of the efforts of the Dignity Memorial Homeless Veterans Burial Program, we honor homeless veterans with a fitting ceremony at their final place of rest," said Rep. Steve Israel. "We must dedicate ourselves to finding every veteran a place to live. And we can't stop until we can truthfully say that no veteran is facing homelessness and no veteran will ever again face homelessness."

"This ceremony symbolizes America's eternal compact of honor with our veterans," said Congressman Tim Bishop. "The veterans we recognize today deserve to rest in dignity, and I applaud all those whose efforts have brought them home to Calverton National Cemetery."

"The City of New York is proud to work with the Dignity Memorial network to enhance our current system for military burials for eligible veterans," said Terrance Holliday, Commissioner of the New York City Mayor's Office of Veterans Affairs. "This ceremonial paying of respect is the final demonstration a grateful nation and city can provide."

"We are honored to participate in this ceremony and to recognize the sacrifices made by these military members on our behalf," said Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy. "Dignity Memorial and the veterans' organizations that worked so diligently to provide this well-deserved tribute are to be commended."

Members of the American Legion, the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion Riders, Patriot Guard Riders, American Gold Star Mothers, Nam Knights MC, US Veterans MC and Patriot Knights MC and many other groups will be in attendance to pay their respects. All veterans and members of the public are invited to attend the ceremony.

The Dignity Memorial Homeless Veterans Burial Program is a cooperative effort among Dignity Memorial funeral, cremation and cemetery service providers, V.A.'s Calverton National Cemetery, and local veterans organizations and veterans advocates.

Through the program, Dignity Memorial network provides preparation of the body, transportation, clothing and coordination of the funeral service. The caskets were donated by Mathews Casket Company. Calverton National Cemetery will provide the opening and closing of the gravesite, a grave liner, a headstone or marker and the graveside ceremony.

Dignity Memorial providers in New York include: Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home, Andrett Funeral Home, Chas. Peter Nagel Funeral Home, Walter B. Cooke Funeral Home, Cusimano & Russo Funeral Home, John J. Healey Funeral Home, Joseph G Duffy Funeral Home, MJ Smith Sons Funeral Home, R. Stutzmann & Sons Funeral Homes, George Werst Funeral Home, Quinn-Fogarty Funeral Home, Thomas M. Quinn & Sons Funeral Home, David/Stamatiades Funeral Home, Kennedy-Roth Funeral Home, Conway Funeral Home, John Dormi & Sons Funeral Home, Casey Funeral Home, Casey McCallum Rice, South Shore Funeral Home, and Virginia Funeral Chapel.

The Dignity Memorial network of more than 1,600 funeral, cremation and cemetery service providers is North America's most trusted resource for funeral and memorialization services. Dignity Memorial providers offer an unmatched combination of products and locations serving families with care, integrity, respect and service excellence.

About the Dignity Memorial network
Since its inception in 2000, the Dignity Memorial Homeless Veterans Burial Program has provided services for more than 850 veterans. A cooperative among Dignity Memorial funeral, cremation and cemetery service providers, as well as various local and national veterans and non-profit organizations, the Dignity Memorial Homeless Veterans Burial Program has been implemented in 32 cities, including Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston, St. Louis, Kansas City, Louisville, San Diego, Chicago, Denver and Los Angeles. For more information, visit www.dignitymemorial.com.

The Dignity Memorial Homeless Veterans Burial Program is one of many efforts of the Dignity Memorial network to honor and support our nation's veterans and active military. Other initiatives and programs include the Veterans Planning Guide, the Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall and educational veterans seminars.

*All listed funeral homes are owned and operated by a subsidiary of Service Corporation International, 1929 Allen Parkway, Houston, Texas 77019 (713) 522-5141.

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