Forgotten Wyoming Service Members’ Cremains Interred at Veterans Cemetery
One served in World War I.
Three served in World War II.
Four served in the Korean War.
Three served in the Vietnam War.
The other five served, although the places are not mentioned.
The cremains of 16 veterans and/or their spouses who died from 1978 to 2014 were interred after a brief, solemn ceremony Friday at the Oregon Trail State Veterans Cemetery in Evansville.
Cecil Barnes of the Natrona County United Veterans Council spoke briefly, read the names of those honored, and said, "The self was forgotten in the cause of the greater good."
Friday's ceremony marked the second interment of the ashes of "orphan cremains" at the cemetery organized by the Missing in America Project.
The first was held in September with cremains at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Sheridan. That ceremony packed out the chapel at the cemetery because it also marked the 3,000th service conducted by Barnes.
The Missing in America Project has visited 2,398 funeral homes, has found 21,247 cremains, has identified 4,991 veterans' cremains, and has interred 4,584 veterans, according to its website.
There are about 400 unidentified cremains in Wyoming, and each of the 41 funeral homes in the state has about 10, said Laura Ward, the southern Wyoming representative for the Missing in America Project.
Tammy Mansfield, state president of the Wyoming State Society of the Daughters 1812, said in September she and her husband started looking for veterans' graves without headstones in Sheridan County, and that evolved into her work to identify the forgotten veterans and give them a dignified interment.
Mansfield's interest is enhanced because she is a professional genealogist and working with the deceased veterans gets personal, she said Friday. "I get kind of attached to them."
These are the names of those interred on Friday, and their ranks, service branches, and in some cases where they served:
- Forrest Jerome Liberty -- CPL U.S. Army; Korea.
- Gary Leon Lewis -- SPC3 U.S. Army; Korea.
- Harlow Bassett -- SPC U.S. Army; Vietnam.
- Joseph Hardin, Jr. -- CPL U.S. Marine Corps; Korea.
- William Floyd Harmon -- SPC3 U.S. Army; Korea.
- Douglas Paul Swanson -- PVT U.S. Army.
- Ruth Edna Schweder Nelson -- 1st LT U.S. Army; World War II.
- Michael T. Meyer -- PVT U.S. Army; Vietnam.
- Walter Lee MacClean -- MAJOR U.S Army.
- Henry Elwin Vine -- TSGT U.S. Army; World War II; spouse: Edythe Kawamoto Vine.
- John Lynn Wilson -- PVT U.S. Army; World War I.
- Bruce Milton Baker -- FA U.S. Navy.
- Cullen James Watt -- SP1C U.S. Navy; World War II.
- William Gregory Houston -- AT2 U.S. Navy; Vietnam.
- Roger David Powell -- SPC U.S. Army; spouse: Virginia Chloe Powell.
- Michael Joseph Morgan -- PVT U.S Army.
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