A Denton funeral director wants to provide a proper burial to an Army veteran whose body went unclaimed for weeks after he died.
Andrew DeBerry says it's a matter of doing what's right.
DeBerry received a call from a Denton hospital recently, regarding a man named John, who died in early October. The man's mother has dementia, and the hospital had no luck contacting other family members.
DeBerry Funeral Directors took the man's body, and Andrew DeBerry began investigating. Using military discharge records, he learned the man was a former soldier — a decorated Army veteran who served in Vietnam, earning several medals, including a Purple Heart.
"We've tried to contact some other family members," DeBerry said. "We haven't had any luck with that."
Wishing to honor a veteran, who by all accounts served his country well, DeBerry contacted Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery, where the man will be laid to rest Wednesday.
"It's more than this soldier would have gotten," Deberry said. "I think we owe it not only to our veterans. We owe it to each other."
DeBerry still worried that while a funeral would be held for a decorated veteran, no one would show up. So he contacted local veterans groups to see if they could send representatives. He encourages others to attend the funeral, which begins at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at DFW National Cemetery.
"Our father, who started this business, always said everyone deserves a respectful and decent funeral," DeBerry said.
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DeBerry hopes others feel compelled to pay their respects to let the world know this man will not be forgotten.
"He deserves it," DeBerry said. "He served for us. Who are we to not serve for him?"