Every person who serves our country is entitled to an honorable and dignified funeral. Sadly, when an elderly veteran passes away, there’s not always any family or friends left to pay them the respect they deserve.
Late United States Air Force veteran Ralph Lambert was one of those veterans who outlived everyone he once knew and loved. Ralph served from 1950 to 1971, but when he passed away at age 94 in February 2022, he had no one to pay tribute to his life and service.
When Jordan Marks, a high school baseball coach at Menard High School in Alexandria, Louisiana, heard that Ralph was going to be cremated with no service, he couldn’t let that happen on his watch. He asked the six senior players on his team to step up to honor a veteran they didn’t even know, and they were more than happy to oblige.
“I try to teach them the game of baseball but also the game of life, and anytime we can serve a community member or especially somebody that served for our country, we are more than happy to do it,” Jordan explained.
Ashton Veade, Cameron Kinder, Jacob Giordano, Jackson Ford, Ashton Brodnax, and Hunter Foster wore their baseball uniforms and carried the flag-draped casket for a special ceremony to honor Ralph. All of the young men were honored to be a part of the ceremony even though they never had the chance to meet Ralph in person.
“It was an honor for us, seniors, to be able to go out there, especially with somebody with no family and friends,” said Jacob.
“I felt sorry,” Cameron agreed. “I just felt like, glad we got the opportunity to go out there and just be with somebody who has absolutely nobody. We’ve all got our families and friends, but I think we fail to realize that some people out there, they don’t have all that.”
Ralph was buried with full military honors at the Central Louisiana Veterans Cemetery. Thanks to this coach and his thoughtful young players, the veteran was laid to rest with friends by his side.
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