When a Navy veteran passed away in Long Beach, Mississippi, funeral home workers didn’t realize they were about to witness exactly what the next generation thinks about respect and honor. In fact, the employees at the funeral home were absolutely stunned to see what six teenage boys did with the man’s body.
Navy veteran Jerry Wayne Pino passed away on December 12 at the age of 70-years-old. Pino outlived all of his friends and family, so when it came time for someone to claim his body, there was no one to step up. After the Vietnam veteran’s body laid unclaimed at Riemann Family Funeral Homes for several weeks, the employees grew concerned about what to do.
“No one stepped forward,” funeral home worker Cathy Warden explained, according to Fox News. “He just didn’t have any family.” Of course, Cathy and her coworker Eve Boomer decided that they needed to do something for this veteran to give him the proper send-off he deserved. “Something had to be done with respect,” Miss Cathy said. “We had to give him what he deserved. Nobody should go alone.”
After discussing the issue, Cathy and Eva decided to reach out to some teenage boys at Long Beach High School to see if any would be interested in serving as pallbearers. Of course, Cathy started by asking her own teenage son, Bryce, who immediately stepped up, and within a matter of minutes, six teenage boys had volunteered to serve as Pine’s pallbearers.
“It was the right thing to do,” 17-year-old Bailey Griffin said. “He served our country. He fought for our rights. For him to be buried with nobody there was just sad. I told myself I was going to do it and I did it.” All six boys, Bailey Griffin, Joseph Ebberman, JT Tripp, Jake Strong, Kenny McNutt, and James Kneiss, were honored to step up and honor Pine.
They buried Petty Officer Third Class Jerry Pino on Tuesday at Biloxi National Cemetery. The boys were dressed respectfully and escorted the flag-draped coffin to its final resting place. As every veteran deserves, an honor guard was present for his final goodbye.
“I went out there for the service and cried the whole way through,” Miss Cathy said. “He had no one there. This veteran had nobody standing there but these boys.” However, what happened at the end of the funeral was truly remarkable — the six teens were presented with the folded flag from Pino’s coffin.
There are many opportunities in life to truly make a difference, and these six teenage boys have reminded us all that nobody should go alone – especially anyone who served our country. Thank you, boys.