(Photo: University of Detroit Jesuit High School)
The National Alliance to End Homelessness says that there are 49,933 homeless veterans in the United States. In Detroit, homeless veterans who die without families to claim their bodies get a proper send off, thanks to students at the University of Detroit Jesuit High School. As a community service, students there serve as pallbearers, bringing an element of dignity and reverence to the funerals for these fallen American veterans. The Huffington Post talked to Todd Wilson, the director of service at the school:
“One of our challenges and responsibilities is to ensure that the students are emotionally prepared for serving,” Wilson told HuffPost. “Initially, we were hoping for at least 20 students at the training, but we ended up having over 50 students who participated.” […]
“We strongly feel that everyone deserves the dignity of having people present at their last moments,” Leonard Froehlich, a 12th-grader who served as a pallbearer, said in a statement provided to The Huffington Post. “It was a real privilege to be a part of this service for these men who have fought for our country.”
While the the first outreach focused on veterans, the students hope to expand their program to all people in need, and families who simply do not have pallbearers.