Community honors homeless veteran with burial service
Monday, July 29, 2019
News 12 at 6 o'clock / NBC 26 at 7 o'clock
AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- The Homeless Veterans Burial Program organized a memorial service and burial for homeless veteran Howard "Nick" Warren on Monday.
According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, there were nearly 300 reported homeless veterans in Richmond County alone last year.
Jerry Cox, the chairman of the program, says this is the seventh service the organization has held in the past year and a half. The goal is to provide homeless veterans with dignified and proper burials that they would otherwise not be able to afford.
Despite the fact that the majority of the attendees knew nothing about Spc. Warren, veterans and active servicemen showed up to support their fallen brother.
"We were told that there was an unaccompanied veteran who had passed away and we came out with Patriot guard to show our support," said Nicole Janis, a veteran with the Combat Veteran Motorcycle Association.
Among the organizations that showed up were Forces United, Wounded Warrior Project, and the Combat Veteran Motorcycle Association.
"We try to stand for those that can't stand anymore," said Janis.
Cox defines "homeless veteran" as someone who does not have any known family or friends, or if they have family, they are estranged from them. Also, they would be unable to financially afford their own service or burial. He says that every veteran deserves to be recognized for their contributions, regardless of how they ended their journey.
"There are many reasons that people become homeless. Few of us know what those real reasons are," he said. "We never really wonder or ask the question of why, but the main thing is that somehow, they've got themselves in that position and we're going to take care of them."
Following Monday's memorial service, Spc. Warren was buried at Milledgeville Veteran's Cemetery in a private ceremony.