A state law that protects funeral homes when the unclaimed remains of veterans are buried has paid off for more than two-dozen of those veterans so far.
The one-year old law says funeral homes are protected from liability if they follow proper procedures in turning over to the Missouri Veterans Commission unclaimed ashes of veterans. The Commission has encouraged more than 600 funeral homes to find veterans remains.
The commission’s cemetery program director, Stan Baughn (baun) of Cape Girardeau, says remains of 25 veterans and two veterans’ wives have been buried in state veterans cemeteries in Higginsville and Jacksonville this year.
Baughn says the hardest part of the process is searching through often obscure records to verify the veterans’ status of the remains. He says it’s hard to say how many unclaimed veterans remains are in Missouri funeral homes, but it could be hundreds.