ELGIN – Current and former members of the military showed up in force Tuesday at the Fort Sill National Cemetery here, despite the chilly weather, to bid farewell to four brothers in arms.
Receiving full military honors were the cremated remains of:
Raymond Stowe, U.S. Navy veteran of the Korean War era
Jon Lewis, U.S. Navy veteran of the Vietnam War era
Karl Neff, U.S. Navy veteran
David Bamberger, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy veteran of the Vietnam era
A fifth unclaimed veteran initially was among the group, but at the 11th hour a family member was located – via social media – and received his remains.
A U.S. Navy Funeral Team from Tinker Air Force Base executed a flawless unfolding and re-folding of the first U.S. flag; the other three standards remained folded.
Receiving the flags on behalf of these veterans were a Gold Star Mom, two Vietnam War-era veterans, and George Keck, an Iraq War veteran who is chairman of the Comanche County Veterans Council.
Among those in attendance at the solemn ceremony were America’s Veteran Supporters, the Fort Sill Sgt. Audie Murphy Club, Marine Corps League-Boomer Detachment, Military Order of the Cootie-Pup Tent #16, Patriot Guard Riders, Stephens County Rifle Team/Honor Guard, VFW Post 1192, VFW Post 1193, VFW Post 5263, and VFW Riders. In addition, about a dozen civilians from surrounding communities were on hand “to serve as family to these veterans,” Keck said.
"They may have died alone, they came through those gates alone, but they are not starting their Final Journey alone. We are their Family." - Unknown