Missing in America Honors Eight Forgotten Amarillo Veterans
The Amarillo community coming together to pay their respect to those forgotten, as the remains of unclaimed Amarillo-area veterans make their way to their final resting place.
“We are doing what we’ve done for the last seven years and that is commemorating the memory of some lost heroes,” said Potter County Judge Nancy Tanner.
It is all done through the Missing in America Project. The panhandle representative for the project, Joel Carver, said their mission is to find, identify, and intern the unclaimed cremains of American veterans who have been forgotten.
“People don’t think, and I didn’t for many years, you know, that there were unclaimed veterans among us,” said Carver, “and if we dig a little deep, if we do the research, we’ll find that they that there are several of them, unfortunately.”
Judge Tanner said Carver came to her in 2015 and found seven unclaimed veterans’ remains.
“It’s extremely sad that they had no one that cared that they died homeless and forgotten in my vault, so it’s very sad,” said Judge Tanner.
Eight more veterans’ cremains were found in the Amarillo area in 2021 and were honored in the ceremony Wednesday evening. They are:
- David Alexander – Navy
- Melvin G. Atkinson – Army
- Daniel La France – Army
- Roger Long – Army
- Samuel Marez – Army
- William C. Miller – Army
- Mark Rosta – Air Force
- Buster Shufelt – Army
Carver said that makes 50 identified since the project came to the panhandle.
Perry Sampley is a part of the North Texas Patriot Guard who will be escorting the cremains to Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio. He said escorting the cremains is a privilege.
“All these vets, they gave the ultimate sacrifice, and they deserve their place,” said Sampley.
“My heart’s in it, [I] love to serve these veterans,” said Carver.
The ceremony is held once a year in Amarillo. Carver said that is because the research takes a good portion of the year to complete. He said they are always looking for volunteers to help with research.