military

Heather Duncan

Every year, veterans die homeless, penniless, or with no family to claim their remains. But that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve to be honored with a military burial. A national funeral services company called Dignity Memorial makes that happen. This week, local partner Berry Funeral Home held a service for seven veterans, all of whom served during the Vietnam War. Hundreds showed up at the East Tennessee Veterans Cemetery, from veterans’ groups, to active duty service members in full uniform, to supportive locals.

Depending on how you count, one percent (or less) of America's total population currently serves in a branch of the country's armed forces. Even when you include veterans, the figure is still just about seven percent. That group - the nation's current and former service members - is a small fraction, but its needs are great. And unique.

This edition of Dialogue explores the landscape that awaits veterans coming home.