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Vietnam veteran's ashes taken off shelf, put in grave

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Posted at 2:50 PM, May 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-12 14:58:38-04

GRAND HAVEN, Mich.  — June Boone's wish was for her son, Richard, to be buried beside her in the family plot at Lake Forest Cemetery in Grand Haven.

Richard Boone was a Vietnam Veteran. He died at a Florida rehab toward the end of 2020 after years of struggling.

Richard's ashes found their way to Michigan, but he had grown apart from his family through the years.

When members of the Grand Haven American Legion heard about that, they got to work.

“They said, hey, we got a veteran that’s been sitting on a shelf, in a locker. I thought, 'Oh no no no, that’s not going to happen,'” Honor Guard member Ron Streng said.

Ron Streng sits on the cemetery board and is a veteran himself. Leaving Richard's remains on the shelf wasn't an option.

“It doesn’t stop once you get out of the military. You’re a veteran, you’re a veteran,” Streng said.

Local churches and the VFW all chipped in. They were able to raise enough money to get Richard into the ground, with a proper veteran's funeral.

A reminder, Ron hopes, for all veterans.

“You’re not forgotten,” Streng said.

After posts on social media, a member of Richard's family, who only met him a few times, was able to accept the flag.

June Boone got her wish. Her son now rests next to her.