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Korean veteran will not be alone today when he is buried in IN

Army National Guard Honor Guard officers extend full military honors at the burial of MIA World War II veteran Sgt. Howard F. Gotts, U.S. Army Air Force, at Sand Hill Cemetery in Stanley. [MELODY BURRI/FOR MESSENGER POST MEDIA]

Although a Korean War veteran has no surviving family members, he won’t be alone on the day of his funeral Thursday.

George R. Green, 89, died Dec. 5 at his Elwood home and although efforts to locate a family member were unsuccessful, the Elwood community is making sure his passing is remembered.

Green was awarded four Bronze Star medals during the Korean War and was wounded in combat.

He returned to his hometown in 1953. He worked at the Standard Meat Market and then operated a venetian blinds repair business from his residence.

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Marian Dunnichay, the Pipe Creek Township trustee, said because Green had no surviving family members it was up to her office to conduct the burial.

She said her office would take financial responsibility for the cost of the funeral service, but Code of Vets and St. Vincent Ascension Health have volunteered to pay the expenses.

“It’s unusual for an organization to step up,” Dunnichay said. “It’s nice to see people doing the right thing.”

There will be a public funeral service at 11 a.m. Thursday at the Copher-Fesler-May Funeral Home in Elwood, and Green will be buried with full military honors at 1 p.m. at the National Cemetery in Marion.

Cory May, the funeral director, said Dunnichay contacted the funeral home to see if it would be willing to provide the services.

“I told her not to worry about the cost,” he said. “We did something similar last year.”

May said a copy of Green’s military discharge papers was obtained from the Madison County Veterans Affairs office that showed he was awarded the four Bronze Stars.

“This is really a special story,” he said, “particularly at this time of the year. He was an impressive guy.”

May said the funeral home has heard from VFW posts from around central Indiana that will send representatives to Green’s funeral.

Members of the Elwood Fire Department will serve as pall bearers and the Elwood Police Department and Madison County Sheriff’s Department will be escorting Green’s remains to the National Cemetery, May said.

A local florist is donating flowers.

“People have really stepped up,” May said. “He (Green) will not be alone on the day of his funeral.”

Elwood Mayor Todd Jones said the response from the community has been tremendous.

“This just shows how much the Elwood community steps up at a time of need,” Jones said.

Memorial contributions can be made to the “Code of Vets” organization at www.codeofvets.com.

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© 2019 The Herald Bulletin