LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — That last goodbye should mean something. That’s how the Solera Veterans and First Responders Club sees Thursday’s interment of six veterans whose bodies have gone unclaimed.

Ray Carvajal, 81, a founder and membership chair of the Henderson group, has helped organize a sendoff for the veterans.

Carvajal, of Henderson, says he understands the six men died some time during the pandemic. All were homeless, he says.

Attendance is likely to be sparse for the 8:40 a.m. ceremony at the Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Boulder City, Carvjal says.
The pandemic forced many of these kinds of ceremonies to be postponed and, in some cases, halted, Carvajal says.

Some members of his group, whose goals include promoting patriotism and honoring those who served in the Armed Forces and as first responders, will be there. And he hears that Southern Nevada members of the Patriot Guard Riders, a motorcycle group, also will attend.

Also, several veterans groups have gotten word of the ceremony, and Carvajal says he hears some of their members will attend.

But the thought — not the the numbers — is most important. “This ceremony is to acknowledge and respect their service,” says Carvajal, who was a training sergeant in the Army during the Vietnam War and also served in the National Guard. “These men won’t end up in a potter’s field, as John Does. Someone will be there to recognize what they did as veterans, what they gave to their country.”

Carvajal says he only recently received the names of the six veterans, and he’s not sure of their histories or backgrounds. But in their stories, “a life forgotten” won’t be included.

Veterans to be remembered during Thursday’s interment are:

  • Michael Robert Haley, sergeant, Air Force
  • Albert Richard Worley, airman first class, Air Force
  • Peter Joseph Longworth, staff sergeant, Air Force
  • James Robert Stanberry, private first class, Army
  • Gordon Edward Ray, sergeant, Army
  • Thomas Douglas, local operational plot, Navy