On a rainy Wednesday last month at Quantico National Cemetery, a group of representatives gathered to pay respects to veterans who had been momentarily forgotten but then given a proper interment, thanks to the efforts of the Missing In America Project.

“Regardless of how these veterans came to the Missing In America Project, we work very hard to ensure they receive the burial, with honors that they’ve earned,” said Virginia coordinator Forrest Lingenfelter.

Remains of two Navy and two Army veterans were escorted to the site by veterans on motorcycles and representatives of the Prince William County Sheriff’s Office. The urns were solemnly marched into the gazebo for the ceremony by their respective service’s honor guards, and given the prayer, dignity and care associated with a military honors funeral.

Those laid to rest were:

Army Pfc. George Komarowski, 1952-2020

Army Sgt. Jackie Bryant, 1953-2020

Navy Hospitalman 3rd Class Otis Corum, 1957-2019

Navy Cmdr. Christine Reilly, 1943-2021

MIAP is a nationwide project to locate veterans’ cremains and ensure they’re properly buried. So far, Virginia’s team has been to 126 funeral homes and identified 220 veterans or eligible dependents, with 136 now interred at Quantico. Lingenfelter said 15 of the cremains were claimed by family members and taken home.

“Some of these folks are just forgotten,” Lingenfelter said. “Whether homeless, outlived family, indigent, estranged from family or had withdrawn [from society].”

John Tutunjian, the group’s assistant state coordinator, says its priority is to reunite the veterans and spouses with family members. “If that doesn’t work out, we become their families.”

Paul Lara covers the military beat. Reach him at plara@insidenova.com

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