ELKO — The ashes of 18 veterans will finally be placed to rest as part of the Missing in America Project.
MIAP is a national nonprofit organization that locates, identifies and buries the unclaimed cremains of American veterans.
Local cremains were collected from funeral homes and rest homes by the POW/MIA Elko Awareness Association.
“For whatever reason, all these veterans were unclaimed by their families,” said Les Brown, director of the Elko POW/MIA. “People think that once a person has been cremated, their remains get taken care of. But they aren’t.”
“A lot of times these individuals have been homeless and separated from their families for quite some time,” Brown added.
The cremains will be buried Tuesday at the Veterans Cemetery in Fernley, where a “full-on military service” will be held for the deceased veterans, Brown said.
POW/MIA will meet at the Main City Park, near the handball courts, and leave for the cemetery at 8 a.m.
The entourage will be escorted to Fernley by law enforcement agencies between Elko and Lyon County, Brown said.
“We may have to put (the cremains) in a vehicle, but it will be surrounded by our motorcycles,” he said.
POW/MIA will stop at the Flying J in Winnemucca at 10 a.m. and in Lovelock at 11:30 a.m.
The funeral ceremony in Fernley will begin at 1 p.m.
“Everyone is welcome (to join us),” Brown said. “You don’t have to have a motorcycle or be a veteran. (You) just have to believe that every veteran deserves to be properly recognized and honored before going to their final resting place.”
For more information, call Brown at 397-1492.