Continuing its honorable task for providing a proper burial for indigent veterans, the Queens County American Legion Committee will hold services in Glendale tomorrow for three servicemen who died without a next of kin.
The three veterans — James Banks, Brian L. Jones, and James Frederick Jones — left behind no family or friends to give them the military burial that they deserve. As an Organizational Friend of Unclaimed Veterans, the Queens County Committee Inc. of The American Legion take up that duty.
The committee will hold a memorial service on the morning of Feb. 8 at George Werst Funeral Home on Cooper Avenue, then travel out to Calverton National Cemetery in Calverton, NY, where the three will be laid to rest.
“These veterans have no other friends or family to arrange for their final honors except The American Legion and the veteran community,” said Paul J. Schottenhamel, adjutant, Queens County American Legion Unclaimed Veteran Burial Committee in a press release. “With the help of the George Werst Funeral Home, we hope to give them this final honor.”
According to The American Legion, not much is known about the three vets.
Banks was born on Oct. 26, 1945, in New Orleans, LA. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a PVT E-1 during the Vietnam War era, from June 30, 1965, to Aug. 6, 1965. He died on Oct. 18, 2016.
Brian L. Jones was born on May 8, 1956. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam era, from Dec. 28, 1973, to Jan. 17, 1974, and in the U.S. Army from Feb. 6, 1975, to March 26, 1976. He died on Aug. 6, 2016.
Frederick Jones was born on Nov. 22, 1957. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam era, from Oct. 29, 1976, to July 17, 1978. He died on Sept. 23, 2016.
Schottenhamel is expecting a motorcycle escort from Patriot Guard Riders to Calverton National Cemetery.
The funeral service is expected to begin at 9:30 a.m., and the group will depart for the cemetery at approximately 10 a.m., with the burial to take place around 11:15 a.m.