Thursday, December 17, 2009

Vetean and wife laid to rest with Honors

From MyFox Tampa Bay

This is a follow up to the story of the remains of a combat veteran and his wife
that were found in a dump

Veteran's once-discarded remains laid to rest

Updated: Wednesday, 16 Dec 2009, 9:15 PM EST
Published : Wednesday, 16 Dec 2009, 9:15 PM EST

* Warren Elly


BUSHNELL - With two Tampa Police cruisers as escort, the remains arrived at Bushnell National Cemetery for military honors 26 years overdue.

Honors for Army Sargeant Delbert Hahn, who won the Bronze Star for Valor in the Normandy Invasion of June 1944 and, twice wounded, two purple hearts.

All that's left is a faded newsclipping from the day long after the war that Hahn received those metals.

Now finally his remains, and wife Barbara's, are honored for his service. The military was unable to find any surviving family.

"We commend to almighty God our brother and sister Delbert and Barbara, and we commit their bodies to their resting place," the chaplain said over the ashes, one set in an urn, the other, the wife's, still in a temporary cardboard tube.

Bushnell is a long, long way from the parking lot behind a closed college in Tampa, where the hero and his wife's urns had been dumped by a company clearing foreclosed homes.

Among the mourners were the young National Guardsman and his fiancée, who found the urns as they picked through the illegal dump for treasure.

"Its just what we wanted," said Mike Colt, wearing his class A Army uniform. "We didn't want him left in the parking lot or anything, we wanted this for him."

Even cemetery workers gathered as word spread about the Army Sergeant with two Purple Hearts -- forgotten, without family.

First came the 21 guns, then the taps.

The Tampa Police Officers that the couple went to with the urns are combat veterans themselves, and they knew what to do.

"This guy is truly an American hero," said Corporal Ed Croissant. "And the fact that his remains and the remains of his wife were just dumped behind a vacant building on Busch Boulevard is just a disgrace."

At last, an American hero is at rest, 66 years after acts of bravery and courage, no longer forgotten.

Jerald Terwilliger
National Chairman
American Cold War Veterans,Inc.