Remembrance at Milledgeville

From left: Russell Feagin, Valynski Calhoun, Joel Lowry, William Lester and Wade Forehand

This Memorial Day, we’d like to recognize the people who care for Georgia’s veterans and families at the state’s two veterans memorial cemeteries in Milledgeville (featured below) and Glennville.

A team of five caretakers maintains the Georgia Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Milledgeville to award-winning, National Shrine standards: Russell Feagin, director; Wade Forehand, assistant director; William Lester, maintenance supervisor; and Valynsky Calhoun and Joel Lowry, heavy equipment operators.

“They are all dedicated employees who ensure that veterans and their families receive the respect that they deserve,” says Russell of his team. “Families can come here and know that their loved ones are lying in rest in a place that honors their memories and their service.”

Russell remembers a day when he observed several people gathered around a grave with a floral wreath and small box of cremains.  He knew there were no funeral services scheduled, so he approached them to see what was taking place.

“They told me that their mother had died and they did not have any money to bury her, so they were going to scatter the ashes on their father’s grave,” recalls Russell.  “I asked them if she had been married to their father at his death.  When they answered yes, I went to the offices and checked our records.

“We had all of the information necessary for her to be interred with him and her name and information added to his marker.  We took care of interring their mother while they waited and had a short memorial service for her.

“Because the state of Georgia cared enough about our veterans to build and maintain a cemetery for them and their eligible family members, this family has a place where they can come and remember their mother and father with dignity.”

Russell adds, “Frequently, we have questions about the cost for interment in the cemetery.  The state does not charge a burial fee, but  I would like to point out that this does not mean the interment is free:  the veteran has already prepaid this cost with his or her service to our country.  We are only reimbursing them in a small part for what they have done for us.”

Salute at Milledgeville

Comments are closed.