Unaccompanied Navy veteran laid to rest in Mission
While there were no family members in attendance for an unaccompanied Navy veteran who was laid to rest Wednesday, several veteran organizations and community members gathered to pay their respects.
A final goodbye was held for Navy veteran Mark Joseph Griffin, who was buried with full military honors at the Rio Grande Valley State Veterans Cemetery in Mission.
At one time, veterans who had no family or friends were being buried without honors and a proper ceremony, but those in attendance made sure Griffin was not alone.
George Rice, the cemetery’s representative, says officials do their best to make sure veterans get a proper farewell surrounded by other men and women who served.
"You can expect to see the Marine Corps League, expect to see the VFW's, the American Legions, the Patriot Guard, Military Order of the Purple Heart, you can expect to see several dozen organizations," Rice said.
With no family, it can at times take over a week to find records for the veteran in order to give them the ceremony and honors they deserve.
The city of mission's assistant fire chief, who is also a Navy veteran, accepted the flag in place of Griffin’s family.