SARASOTA (WWSB) - The Sarasota National Cemetery holds “Unclaimed Veteran” services once a week to honor those who’ve served our country.
A Veterans Affairs pension or other compensation is no longer a pre-requisite for “Unclaimed Veterans” to receive burial benefits. Unclaimed veterans are defined as those who die with no next of kin to claim their remains and insufficient funds to cover burial expenses.
ABC 7 covered the event Facebook live to show residents on Thurs. March 7, around 11:30 a.m., on volunteers around the Suncoast who paid their respects. The Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus organization came together to lay two Marines to rest, one soldier and one airman.
The Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus ensures that the veterans have a proper burial at no cost.
John Rosentrater, Director of the Sarasota National Cemetery told ABC7 burials occur at least once a week and veterans from all over the Suncoast come to the service and accept the flag as their “kin.”
A funeral home usually contacts the National Cemetery when an unclaimed veteran needs to be laid to rest and is reimbursed for their efforts. The PDF document listed here shows the Unclaimed Veteran Remains Casket or Urn Reimbursement Program.