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Oklahoma funeral home inviting public to funeral for WWII veteran with no known surviving family

Navy Funeral (U.S. Navy/Released)

A Perry, Oklahoma funeral home is imploring area residents to attend the funeral for Herman Augusta White, a World War II veteran who didn’t leave any immediate family behind to mourn.

Rebecca Raines, director of Brown Dugger Funeral Home, in Perry, which is handling White’s service, is inviting the public to attend White’s funeral at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4, at Grace Hill Cemetery in Perry. Raines said a moment of silence, balloon release, the playing of taps and a flag-folding ceremony will be featured.

Raines wrote a letter to media hoping to amplify White’s story and to reach anyone who may have known White and could add to the story.

“A neighbor across the street is the one who took him to the hospital and came in with his DD214 (notice of discharge/release from the military) and said, ‘All I know is everyone is dead and there’s not anyone,’” Raines said.

She said White’s wife and only son preceded him in death. He joined the U.S. Navy on May 7, 1945, which White’s neighbor proved by providing his discharge papers. She said White left his home and “all his worldly possessions” to a local Baptist church.

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Raines said she didn’t know who White’s parents were and has contacted the National Archives to get White’s full military records. She also has reached out to a reunion group for the ship White served on, as well as several luminaries, including President Donald Trump.

Huge crowds of people from across the country have rallied behind veterans when they are buried without surviving family. Raines is expecting a big turnout.

“The Wounded Warriors Project is coming. They’re bringing rifles and a live bugler, and they are a big, big group. Several motorcycle groups are coming. If we can keep it under 20,000 I think we’ll be OK. I’m going to leave that up to the mayor with what he wants to do,” Raines said, only halfway joking. “I’m going to ask the American Legion if we can use their building for overflow. This will be a graveside service, open-air graveside service. We are not planning on having a church service.There’s not a church big enough in Perry.”

White, according to the discharge papers, was a Seaman 2nd Class serving on the USS Muliphen. He was awarded an Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal.

Anyone who might have known White is asked to contact the Funeral Home at brown-duggerfuneralhome.com.

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© 2019 the Enid News & Eagle

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