Acts of Kindness
High school seniors bear flag-draped casket of veteran with no family to attend his funeral
This story tugs at my heart. It's so good to see that honor and respect are still alive and thriving in our youngsters. 💘
Elijah Chan
05.03.22

You may have given your life for the country, but at the end of the road, you’re alone.

In Louisiana, a retired United States Air Force veteran passed away.

Unfortunately, like other veterans who lived the rest of their lives in solitude, he was alone when death claimed him.

He wouldn’t go to the grave that way.

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He could’ve been carried by VA employees and interred in the veteran’s cemetery.

But when a community learned about his passing, they knew they had to do something.

Ralph Lambert passed on February 8th.

He was 94 years young at that time. He has no friends or family around to attend his funeral.

Instead of crossing the bridge alone, the local school’s baseball coach mustered up his team so he could have an unforgettable exit.

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“I picked the six seniors we have,” said Jordan Marks, Menard High School’s baseball coach, to KALB. “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.”

Lambert got six pallbearers for his funeral.

The team of six seniors on the school’s baseball team included Ashton Veade, Cameron Kinder, Jacob Giordano, Jackson Ford, Ashton Brodnax, and Hunder Foster.

The young men never got the chance to know the veteran but that didn’t stop them from paying the respect fitting of someone who gave their life to the country.

They carried Lambert’s casket with the American flag draped over it.

“It was an honor for us, seniors, to be able to go out there, especially with somebody with no family and friends,” said Giordano to the news outlet.

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A precious lesson

The moment also taught the team about the importance of family and looking out for those who never had one.

It was also a way for them to pay tribute to family members who served in the military.

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

Lambert’s case is not new.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of veterans pass away without family nearby. Some of them are homeless too which means they have no family to take care of them.

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Just last year, a Navy and Marine Corps veteran was laid to rest.

He had no immediate family to honor him but his funeral was attended by 300 people – veterans and their families alike.

They made sure that Corporal Charles York was not alone.

Hope for our vets

We can only hope that veterans get the honor and dignity they deserve.

According to the law, any eligible veteran can be interred with full military honors should their family request for it.

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Honor in the afterlife

A veteran’s funeral can also have an honor guard detail which includes a member from their branch of service.

Lambert served in the Air Force from 1950 to 1971 and was buried with full military honors.

We’re so thankful that these young men paid this veteran the respect he’s earned.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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By Elijah Chan
hi@sbly.com
Elijah Chan is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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