High school seniors carry the casket of Air Force veteran with no family

All veterans deserve a good funeral when the time comes. If you give your life to serving your country, you should get a respectful and dignified send-off.

Sadly, not every vet has family or friends at the time of death, but that doesn’t mean they have to be buried alone. When one air force vet died, a group of kind high school seniors stepped up to carry his casket.

Ralph Lambert, a retired US Air Force veteran, died in Louisiana on February 8 at the age of 94, reported KALB. Sadly, he had no friends or family who could attend his funeral.

Lambert served his country for over twenty years, from 1950 to 1971, and it seemed heartbreaking to think the vet would be buried with no one around to honor him.

But when a local high school baseball coach named Jordan Marks heard about the veteran’s situation, he stepped in to help. He recruited six members of his team, all seniors at Menard High School, to attend the funeral and carry Lambert’s casket.

For this coach, it was not only a way to honor a vet, but teach his students some valuable life lessons off the field.

“I try to teach them the game of baseball but also the game of life, and anytime we can serve a community member or especially somebody that served for our country, we are more than happy to do it,” Marks told KALB.

On the day of the funeral, the six seniors — Ashton Veade, Cameron Kinder, Jacob Giordano, Jackson Ford, Ashton Brodnax and Hunter Foster — carried the vet’s flag-draped casket, seeing Lambert off as he was buried at Central Louisiana Veterans Cemetary.

And while they didn’t know the veteran at all, it was still an honor they’ll never forget.

“It was an honor for us, seniors, to be able to go out there, especially with somebody with no family and friends,” Jacob Giordano told KALB.

“I felt sorry, and I just am glad that we got the opportunity to go out there,” said Cameron Kinder. “We all have our family and friends, but I think we fail to realize that somebody out there doesn’t have that.”

Stories like this are not uncommon: the sad reality is that some vets die alone, and are denied their right to a funeral with military honors. Veterans organizations around the US like the Missing in American Project work to identify unclaimed vets and see that they get rightful send-offs.

No veteran deserves to be buried with no one by their side — and thankfully this vet didn’t, thanks to the kindness of six caring high school seniors.

Thank you to these seniors for paying respects to this veteran at his funeral. We know he would’ve been very happy to know someone cared about him in the end.

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