Kenneth Westerfeld of College Point joined us on our last burial, on 2/28/18 and posted the following on Facebook
On Wednesday February 28th 2018 I was given an invitation to attend a US military indigent burial by my friend Bob Boisselle. Bob is a fellow fishing enthusiast who I've gotten to know in the last year thanks to my Facebook Fishing group page the NYC/ L. I.Fishing & Hunting Alliance.
Bob is also a very active member of the VIET NAM VETERANS Whitestone chapter of our American VFW.
These men have become dedicated servants of their fellow US Armed Forces Service brethren. They are one of about 8 chapters in 8 different US cities who perform this service for retired/ deceased US service members nationwide.
Too many times a retired service man passes on all alone. They may be estranged from family. They may have no family left. They may be homeless. They may pass on in a nursing home. Whatever the case, if they have given their country service and obtained honorable discharge, then they have the right to burial with US Military Honors.
The Good American Men of this Viet Nam Vets Chapter make sure that these special people are laid to rest with the proper honors. Each member of service that they have laid to rest of course receives the American flag. The Old Glory, Stars & Stripes that drapes their casket for their final ride eastward to their final resting place.
It's usually the custom that their nextive kin receives this important token and remembrance of their loved one and their personal sacrifice of service to this great nation. For the large majority of these soldiers, their loved ones were unable to be reached or notified.
In lieu of no family members present, it is the custom of these Vets that too often one of them must stand in place of family to receive the fallen soldier's flag. Each flag is then returned to the VFW Post building and stored on display in the hope that maybe one day their loved ones may possibly locate their flag and bring it home.
By this time these dedicated men have done in the area of 127 of these burials. They are in posseion of about 125 of these soldier's flags. They would prefer to see these flags potentially find their rightful homes, with family if possible.
If you know of any lost family members whom you know gave their service to our country's armed forces in their lives you might consider reaching out to this VIET NAM VETERANS Whitestone NY Chapter located at 19 - 12 149th Street Whitestone NY 11357.
, I was given the honor to receive one of these flags for the chapter. However, thankfully, & cheerfully in a way, as it turned out this was one of those rare & happier occasions where family was located, and attended.
In the future I will be invited back to partake in another one of these beautiful and special ceremonies which often take place at the Calverton US Cemetery in Suffolk County. It was a nice morning with a great bunch of dedicated American gentlemen, and for a good and honorable purpose. I relish the opportunity.