The “Unclaimed Veteran’s Funeral”

I had the privilege of attending what was called The “Unclaimed Veteran’s Funeral” not too long ago.

Of course, this was before the stay-at-home and social distancing orders that we’re currently living under…

But, I’m uncomfortable with that headline …

I’m also uncomfortable with the stay-at-home orders issued by some state governors, though I don’t entirely discount their usefulness for what it’s worth.

Some parts of those “orders,” however, are simply capricious and serve as the pretext to overreach…

On the other hand, I’m ok with social distancing.

Surely, some of you have experienced that uneasy feeling when someone encroaches on your personal space…

Ever felt like people get a bit too close to your space?

And that has nothing to do with skin-color, liking or not liking an individual, it’s intrusive, overbearing and abusive!

You know how you feel when you’re driving and the car behind you starts tailgating you? It’s an encroachment.

And, it’s those same people that invade your space when they should be standing six-feet away from you.

But I digress…

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Anyhow, about the “unclaimed veteran’s funeral,” headline…

It has a negative connotation and implies that the veteran is not wanted. Perhaps this is my primary objection to the headline…

For a while there, this type of headline seemed to be popping around all over the place.

Until this thing called COVID-19 entered the picture.

Suddenly the shelves at the grocery stores were empty everywhere. No Clorox wipes, no toilet paper, no disposable gloves, including meat and eggs all disappeared from the shelves!

When the stay-at-home orders spontaneously appeared, within minutes life abruptly changed.

People started panicking, some were controlled, others were simply barbarians as usual! Yes, people got physical over toilet paper. Geez!

And just like that the headline “unclaimed veteran’s funeral,” disappeared and replaced with COVID-19 headlines everywhere.

A few months ago, I never imagined the current state of affairs …a pandemic.

Yet, every veteran deserves a funeral service with all the proper honors and respect that he/she earned for his/her duty to our nation.

Had the stay-at-home orders been in existence at the time of Mr. Murphy’s funeral services, there may not have been an “unclaimed veteran’s funeral” at all.

That’s why, I’m grateful to have attended perhaps one of the last unclaimed veteran’s funeral for a while at least, if not ever again.

It was important to me to pay my respects to this veteran.

Mr. Murphy, served our nation during the best years of his life. He was a Vietnam veteran.

It was only fitting for his nation to show him the proper respect and honor.

And I was pleased that his funeral service was very honorable and respectable.

Yet, in the back of my mind, I had a question…

I have a feeling that after COVID-19, life will not be the same…

It never is.

There will be changes you can bet on that…nothing ever stays the same…

How noticeable those changes will be is yet to be seen.

But, like the parable of the boiling frog, if you toss the frog into a pot of boiling water it will quickly jump out, immediately, it’s wide awake and will know what’s good for its survival!

For that reason, I suspect the changes may be subtle, at least initially, and maybe not even altogether noticeable.

The frog in a pot of lukewarm water is bliss and comfortable, it won’t notice that it is slowly being boiled to death as the water slowly starts increasing in temperature.

A frightening thought indeed…

While the coronavirus has unleashed death upon an unsuspecting public…

It has given life and freedom to many behind prison walls.  At least that’s what our politicians/lawmakers/media are telling us.

And what is the rationale for this?

Fearing the spread of the virus behind those prison walls and “concern” for the safety of those prisoners, policymakers have determined that its best to release convicted felons back into the public.

Law-abiding citizens, however, are being ordered to stay inside their homes!

And some moms playing outdoors with their children have allegedly been arrested for the crime of disobeying the “stay-at-home” orders and not wearing masks.

A man was forcibly removed from a public bus by police for not wearing a mask covering his face.

Christian churches have been ordered closed. And Christian Pastors have been arrested for attempting to keep their church doors open.

Mosques, however, remain open.

You think that’s crazy? Well, it’s happening…

What the politicians are calling non-essential businesses, e.g., furniture stores, clothing stores and others remain closed as of the writing of this article.

But, businesses like abortions and marijuana dispensers, are opened and widely available, they are considered “essentials.”

So, how will this ultimately impact our existence?

I know one thing for sure, we will lose some of our freedoms.

Remember how life used to be before September 11, 2001?

Can you think of at least one way, your life changed after 911?

Approximately 2,996 Americans were murdered in just a matter of hours on that day, the bodies of many were never recovered.

The day after 911, there were suddenly metal detectors in the courthouses, the schools, public buildings, security was tight in many places.

TSA was born in our airports!

Life in the USA was not the same, we lost many of our freedoms.

We have gradually accepted those changes into our lives, we’re used to that now, it has become part of our “normal.”

When I consider this, it pleases me to know that several hundred American veterans came to pay their last respects to Mr. Murphy, a fellow veteran.

Crammed into the funeral home… goodhearted Americans lined up waiting to pay their respects…with the lines extending outside the funeral home.

There were Veterans, active duty, and just patriotic Americans.

Despite the massive turnout, it was orderly, respectable, and cordial.

The hundreds that came to honor Mr. Murphy as an American and a veteran was a testament to the fact that the U.S. military is still one big family.

We never leave anyone behind and we claimed Mr. Murphy as one of our own.

Clearly, this was not an “unclaimed veteran’s funeral.”

I had a question.

Mr. Murphy was born in 1948, just three years after World War II.

It was a very different world then, but not without its troubles.

The USA was still hurting and attempting to recover from the loss of 291,557 American KIA’s just three years earlier.

At the same time, approximately 6 Million or more Jewish people were murdered during the Holocaust.

Then when Mr. Murphy was about two years old, the Korean War began on June 25, 1950, obviously, he was still a baby, much too young to serve.

Nonetheless, there were 33,686.00, American combat deaths during the Korean War.

The USA still did not have the technological knowledge for cell phones, the internet, and of course no email.

Gasoline prices were just $.26 per gallon…and the minimum wage was $.40 per hour, imagine that…

By the time Mr. Murphy turned eighteen (18), in 1966, he enlisted with the U.S. Air Force.

Smack dab in the middle of the Vietnam war!

“Half a million ‘Americans’” dodged their Vietnam war service by going to Canada. These draft dodgers were called “fugitives,” until Jimmy Carter granted them amnesty on January 21, 1977.

I often wonder if the anti-American sentiment that we are seeing throughout the country today stems from the posterity of the “draft dodgers,” and the anti-war college crowd of yesteryear.

But I had a question.

Upon expiration of his enlistment contract, he was Honorably Discharged and returned home during a period when many Vietnam war veterans were treated with scorn and contempt by many.

Our military is always treated with scorn, particularly by those in Congress. For example, it’s the military’s budget that Congress looks to reduce and cut for the most part, in favor of various social programs.

Anyhow, Mr. Murphy lived to a ripe old age… at the time of his passing he was seventy-one (71) years of age.

In my mind, I heard: “Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures… “

I felt my mouth moving and heard myself say, “Psalm 90:10.”

But I had a question.

As we were walking to our vehicle a few yards away I noticed an elderly gentleman getting into his car.

He turned, looked at me, and smiled.

He looked familiar.

I felt that déjà vu feeling… like a replay in slow motion and I thought…who is that? Where do I know him from?

Suddenly I was distracted by a young lady that stepped right in front of us and thanked my husband for his service… he was wearing his VFW hat.

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When I came to look around for the man with the familiar face, he was gone.

I couldn’t stop wondering why he looked so familiar.

As I sat inside the car with my husband, I realized it was Mr. Murphy!

I felt a peace and assurance that Mr. Murphy at one point in this life said the sinner’s prayer, accepted, and received Jesus Christ into his heart…

Therefore, I know he is alive and is safely home with the Lord for eternity! And that is all that matters!

I had received the answer to my question.

This post is dedicated to our servicemen and women who serve our country faithfully…thank you for your service!

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10 thoughts on “The “Unclaimed Veteran’s Funeral”

  1. It’s crazy how one small bug can change the world. Yes, I remember those days – pre 9/11 – when you can bring liquids into cargo without all the current standards. Starting tomorrow in my country, some businesses will resume normal operational hours but they still demand that we wear masks before entering the premises. I think masks will be the new normal for most parts of the world. There are many heros in our lives that are currently battling with the deadly bug. Salute to them!

  2. I would also pay my respects to Mr. Murphy. Thanks for this well written post. There are several things that are being juggled here. But I’d like to just mention one thing. I believe that we may be thinking of life “after” COVID-19. But we may not be considering life “during” COVID-19 may be several years. Daunting, I know

  3. Wow. I guess you weren’t the only one the lock down got into. We all are also uncomfortable with the stay at him situation and I pray Mr. Murphy souls rest in peace I believe he serve his country well as you said. We all also believe change will come but I believe in my own opinion it will be a noticeable change

  4. Hmm! If there is something that really catches my attention the most in this post is the amount of information you have given here and the way you have woven everything from different areas together to make perfect sense. This is really great to see and thank you so much for sharing out here. The covid19 has really brought a lot to us and after it, it will surely alter the way humanity see things. Thanks for this post

  5. The ravaging pandemic has really caused a lot of damages to everyone as we are forced to abide by the stay at home order from government all.over the globe…. It has really been a quite rough times for us all that some people can’t even afford meals while some are languishing in agony…. We hope we get out if this soon enough…

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