AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Eight urns and eight flags were carried out of A to D Mortuary.16 members of the Patriot Guard escorted each item into a hearse.
Inside each urn are the cremains of eight local veterans, ashes left unclaimed in the basement of a Potter County courthouse. With the care of the community, they will finally rest.
"The Patriot Guard riders, we honor veterans, and what we do is we take them to their final resting place and we bury them with honors," said Brenda Rowell, National Board of Directors Secretary for the Patriot Guard. "When we have those that are without family, we are their family. So we honor them by being there for them. They were there for us."
Without a home or family to claim their ashes, the veterans remained in custody of the county for years.
"Today is extra special because they've been sitting on a shelf for a year or more and they deserve to be buried," said Rowell.
Gone for over a decade, one of the veterans was a Purple Heart recipient, serving in three wars, including World War II, Korea and Vietnam.
Now, the Patriot Guard, a national non-profit, will escort the eight veterans to Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio. Along the way, more riders will join.
"This morning we'll have probably about 30-40 riders from Amarillo, but we'll pick up more and more as we go down," said Joel Carver, owner of A to D Mortuary Service and a representative with the Missing in America Project.
For Carver, it's exciting to see the community support in action.
"This is a wonderful, wonderful thing," said Carver. "It's so great to see that patriotism is still alive and we're excited to see the support and grateful for the support from the community and all of our leaders and all of these folks here from all over Texas that have come to escort us down to San Antonio."
It's a community of support atop motorcycles and packed into cars and trucks, with a mission to honor our veterans.
The Patriot Guard procession is expected to arrive in San Antonio on Friday.