Queens group once again steps up to make sure a fallen indigent veteran isn’t forgotten

Photo by Anthony Giudice/QNS

In keeping with their pledge to make sure the country’s indigent veterans are given a proper burial, the Queens County Committee of the American Legion are holding a funeral service in Glendale for indigent veteran Larry Johnson on Wednesday.

When a veteran dies with no known next of kin, the Queens County Committee of the American Legion takes on the responsibility of performing a military-grade funeral service, and burial in a national cemetery, rather than having the veteran put in an unmarked grave in City Cemetery on Hart Island, commonly known as Potter’s Field.

On Dec. 14, Johnson will be given a funeral service at George Werst Funeral Home in Glendale, located at 71-41 Cooper Ave., at 9:30 a.m. Following the ceremony, Johnson will be buried at Calverton National Cemetery at approximately 11:15 a.m.

The American Legion is also expecting a motorcycle escort from Patriot Guard Riders.

“The New York City Mayor’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs has made every effort to ensure that all qualified unclaimed veterans are given a proper military burial in a National Cemetery rather than in an unmarked grave in Potter’s Field,” said Paul J. Schottenhamel, Adjutant, Queens County American Legion Unclaimed Veteran Burial Committee in a press release. “They have designated the Queens County Committee of The American Legion as an Organizational Friend of Unclaimed Veterans and tasked us to perform this honorable duty.”

Not much is known of Johnson. According to the American Legion, he was born on May 15, 1938, in Brooklyn, and served in the U.S. Navy during the Cold War Era, from Nov. 15, 1955, to Aug. 6, 1957.  He died on Aug. 6, 2016, in Brooklyn.

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