Jerry Wayne Pino was a 70-year-old Vietnam War veteran who had made his own funeral arrangements prior to his death. He didn’t have any surviving family members, so he chose to be buried at Biloxi National Cemetery even though there would be no one to attend the burial services.
Cathy Warden, the funeral home’s administrator, was upset that there was yet another unclaimed veteran when a co-worker suggested that her son and his classmates may be interested in paying their respects.
She called her son, Bryce, and although he was out of town, he quickly sent texts to his friends telling them to wear khaki pants, shirts, and ties. They all agreed.All six boys played together on the Long Beach Bearcats football team. They were proud to act as pallbearers and join the supplied Navy honour guards at the burial ceremony.
Since Pino didn’t have any family to pass on the flag from his coffin, the funeral director presented it to the boys. They said that they would be proud to hang it in their team’s locker room alongside a commemorative plaque.
These boys learned a lot about respect and patriotism that day, and hopefully they will continue to exhibit these traits well into their adulthood.
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