Member of the Patriot Guard Riders and the American Legion Chapin Post 193 are making sure two fellow veterans are buried with military honors Friday.
Post Commander Steve Goulet said his mission is to make ensure veterans in South Carolina get the burial honors they earned through their service, even if their remains are unclaimed by family.
“What’s important is that these veterans served their country,” he said. “If they’re unclaimed, I think it’s important that we claim them, that we bring them to the cemetery and have them interred with the dignity and honor that they’ve earned.”
Two veterans who will be buried Friday at Fort Jackson National Cemetery near Columbia are Pfc. Glenn Duncan, who served three years in the Army, and Air Force Sgt. Gregory Politte. The remains of both were not claimed by family through county coroner’s offices. However, Goulet said when he started researching Politte’s service record, he found a family member who asked if Goulet could take care of his burial.
“There’ll be quite a few folks out there,” he said. “None of them know these two individuals that we’re interring but they all have something in common with them: common bonds of service, service to the nation.”
Goulet said sometimes the remains of veterans can sit in a box in a closet at a funeral home or coroner’s office, unclaimed by next-of-kin, for years.
“What we’re trying to do is find them, verify that they’ve served and that they’re eligible for internment at the cemetery and then do what we can to get them interred with honor and dignity,” he said.
The public is invited to attend the ceremony Friday. Duncan and Politte will be escorted by the Patriot Guard Riders departing the American Legion in Chapin at 10:20 a.m. They will arrive at Fort Jackson National Cemetery roughly 40 minutes later.