Community honors 140 veterans whose headstones were missing

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Saturday, November 2, 2019
News 12 at 11 o'clock

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- The Richmond County Coroner's Office and Forces United teamed up on Saturday to properly honor the 140 veterans whose headstones were found at an abandoned funeral home in June.

Today was especially meaningful for Tony and Theodore Pounds. They lost their father, a veteran, exactly 34 years ago on Nov. 2, 1985. For 34 years, his headstone was sitting in a pile with 139 others.

"It just hurts your heart, we're not doing enough for our veterans," said Theodore Pounds. "They gave their life."

In July, their father's headstone was finally delivered to his grave.
"I was angry, but then my anger turned into joy," said Theodore Pounds. "Because they are recognized, and especially today. This is a very special day for all the families."

It's been an ongoing effort with the Coroner's Office, Marshal's Office and Forces United to locate the veterans' grave sites and bring their headstones home.

"These folks didn't receive their final honors and just due," said Don Clark, deputy director of Forces United. "We're about to, as a country, recognize all of our veterans for their service. But man, these 140 men and women absolutely should be recognized."

Saturday, 21 headstones were delivered, but all 140 veterans were honored. It was the ultimate sign of respect for people who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

"I'm just hoping that we find the people and find the place that they are so that we can put them where they need to be," said Tony Pounds.

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