Posted at: 11/03/2012 5:18 PM
Updated at: 11/04/2012 7:33 PM
By: Travis Dill
Over 100 people gathered at the Greenwood Cemetery in Superior to honor six forgotten veterans on Saturday.
Joe Penney brought the service together after he discovered something shocking after his friend, a Vietnam veteran died.
“I started out to get a veteran of mine buried and found out there was more veterans in our mortuaries that haven't been taken care of and given military honors,” Penney said.
The veterans had no remaining family or their families did not have money to provide for a burial.
Penney said 150 local businesses donated to make the service possible or they may have been laid to rest 70 miles away in Spooner, Wisconsin. That was not an option for Penney.
“The families are here. One of their sons, the guys buried here, his son showed up here. Why would he have to go all the way down to Spooner?” Penney said.
And members of several veteran organizations attended the event. Dennis Padora of the Minnesota Honor Guard expressed the importance of the service.
“They served their country and to forget about them...it's not right,” Padora said.
He thought the service was important to support, “it's just something that we could do for these men that earned it.”
The need for the service may be surprising, but Penney said these are not the only forgotten vets. He's even looking to expand his work.
“I've talked to veterans here in the groups. We're going to join forces to get the same dedications over in Minnesota,” Penney said.
For Penney this was all about closure for the families and the veterans.
“It brings closure to the families here, to the friends of these people...it brings closure to everybody,” Penney said.
The Superior businesses donated almost $5,000, which is more than Penney needed for the service. The additional funds are available for future burials.