BEAUFORT, SC (WSAV) – Saying goodbye to veterans who fought for the country in two major wars.
These men may not have families but on this day, the Lowcountry community proved veterans are never alone.
Chief Petty Officer (ICC) Richard W. Green, United States Navy Retired
Petty Officer Samuel J. Miller, United States Navy
Corporal Nathan Goldin, United States Army
Specialist Phillip Michael Flies, United States Army
Veterans from Dorchester and Beaufort County who died, their bodies unclaimed. The Coroner’s Offices in both counties wouldn’t let it end there. So they did the research, verified their service, and made sure they got a full military burial at Beaufort National Cemetery.
The remains brought in by hearse, transferred by soldiers and sailors to a podium where they could be recognized and honored.
Dozens of people, many of them veterans themselves, came to see these men off. Even though they did not know them, everyone here knew they deserved a proper tribute.
“You never leave anybody behind, even though they didn’t have any loved ones we are all here to support them, our country, and our fellow officers.”
“They signed on a dotted line as all of us did. We will do whatever the Country wants us to up to and including dying for our country. It’s the least I can do to pay my respects to them.”
They fought in the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War. Obtained rank and medals for their service. But only recently were they given their just due as heroes.
“Please accept this flag as a symbol of our appreciation for these loved ones honored and faithful service,” said the officer as he handed their flags over to members of the Beaufort Veterans Committee.
“We were the ones who spat on when we came home,” said Doug Ogden, A Vietnam War Naval Veteran. “I was personally spat on at the airport when I came home from my second tour. Things have changed. People stop me and say thanks for your service. It is a whole different ballgame.”
“You see the support of this community,” continued Ogden. “We didn’t know these people, but that isn’t the point. The point is they served, served with honor and we are here to honor them.”
Honors that included a traditional “forget me not” ceremony. fellow veterans laying flowers on their remains, offering one final salute to their brothers in arms.
“I’m a Vietnam Vet and I just want somebody to do the same for me,” said one tearful vet who came to the ceremony. “If the roles were reversed, I know they would.”
“Would you have anything to say to these gentlemen if you could?”
“Well done brothers.”