COLORADO SPRINGS — Pikes Peak National Cemetery held a committal service Monday for an unclaimed veteran.
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, unclaimed veterans are veterans who pass away and are not claimed by relatives, friends, or legal representatives.
“As soon as that came across our desk, that he was an unclaimed veteran, we knew that after serving 25 years, he deserved to be honored as a veteran,” said Greg Kelly, Pikes Peak National Cemetery Technician.
Master Sergeant Charles Kaufman served 25 years in the U.S. Air Force.
“We know that during his time of service he did receive a defense meritorious service medal as well as a meritorious service medal and an honorable discharge,” said Kelly.
Colorado Springs community members were invited to come and share support for the fallen service member.
“It’s a great honor knowing that although he was an unclaimed veteran, the other veterans in this community respect what he did while he was in the service,” said Kelly.
Women’s Army Corps Veterans Association Pikes Peak Chapter 75 was one veteran organization at the service.
“Today was very special for us because we know that there are a lot of veterans that go unnoticed because of either homelessness or just having lost family and that this gentleman had no family,” said Robin Tapp, Newsletter Editor, Women’s Army Corps Veterans Association Pikes Peak Chapter 75. “It’s just a wonderful thing to come out as a community and support these veterans that have done so much for us.”
Military funeral honors were performed during the service with the playing of TAPS, the firing of rifle volleys, and the presentation of the burial flag by uniformed service members.
“I didn’t realize how many would show up and I think it’s wonderful that this community supports its veterans,” said Tapp.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has a step-by-step process online to determine if the decedent is a veteran and eligible for burial in a VA national cemetery.