SAINT PETERSBURG, Fla. — On Friday, fellow service members laid to rest two veterans whose bodies were never claimed.
Tom Mulkey was a U.S. Army captain and served as an paratrooper during the Vietnam War. The Special Forces veteran passed away in 2003 and his cremated remains were recently found in an abandoned U-Haul shed inside of an oatmeal container.
“For me, it’s pretty emotional, for any soldier but especially a brother of the regimen,” said Gerald DeMarzo of Special Forces brotherhood MC MacDill chapter president.
June Wilbur was a 32-year, retired Navy Master Chief. She passed away in June at the age of 92 and no one claimed her remains.
“It’s sad that she died alone but we’re going to make it right today,” said Cathy Gerolimatos from Military Woman Across the Nation.
The Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, as well as the Military Women of Tampa Bay Unit 55, and the Special Forces Brotherhood MC MacDill chapter, joined Veteran’s Funeral Care of Clearwater in giving Mulkey and Wilbur an honorable military burial at Bay Pines National Cemetery.
“Unless you have experienced it, you really can’t understand the world that we lived in and that’s our common bond,” said Gerolimatos.
A bond ensuring that even as strangers a veteran always has family.