Six students from Long Beach High School volunteered one morning of their winter break to be pallbearers at a funeral; all for a veteran they had never met before.
According to Fox News, Jerry Wayne Pino was born in Baton Rouge and joined the Navy in New Orleans. He was a petty officer third class in Vietnam, and he died Dec. 12 at the age of 70 in Long Beach, Mississippi.
Pino had no friends or family, so he had nobody to carry his casket at his pre-arranged funeral service.
The Sun Herald reports a veteran who worked at Riemann Family Funeral Homes contacted a high school student who was able to enlist six of his friends to be pallbearers at the service.
JT Tripp, Bailey Griffin, Joseph Ebberman, Jake Strong, Kenny McNutt and James Kneiss all agreed to help out at the funeral, and on Tuesday morning, they laid Pino to rest at Biloxi National Cemetery.
“This morning, JT and fellow Bearcats will be pall bearers at a veteran’s funeral service,” Stacie Tripp wrote on her Facebook. “Proud mom when he told me that no one should be buried without people who care present, especially a veteran.”
“Exposure to patriotism and respect comes from the home, schools and community. Proud of all these boys!”
The Navy provided honor guards at the funeral, and the flag that was placed on the casket was given to the boys.
Four of the six boys play football for their high school, and they decided a good place to keep the flag would be in the team’s locker room.
A woman who works at the funeral home named Cathy Warden said she would have a case made for the flag that has a plaque with Pino’s name on it.
“It doesn’t cost anything to take some time to do something like this,” Warden said. “If our young people can figure this out, our country is going in the right direction.”
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