‘We stand as their family’ at funeral for four veterans with no family

SLIDELL, LA — More than 100 people turned out to honor four American veterans during their burial ceremony.  None of the people present was a family member because, according to the event’s organizers, the men didn’t have any family.

The ceremony took place late Thursday morning at the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Cemetery.  The men all died recently, and since there was no family member who could stand and honor them for their funerals, the cemetery decided to invite the community.

These are the men who were honored:

  • CPL Whitney Moses who served two years in the Army during the Korean War
  • SP4 Hal Dwight Hofland who served more than two years in the Army during the Vietnam War
  • SN Leon Alphonse Brayman who served nearly two years in the Navy during the Vietnam War
  • SN Leonard Smith who served nearly two years in the Coast Guard during the Vietnam War

Three of the men — Moses, Hofland, and Brayman — are buried in the cremated section of the cemetery.  Smith will be in buried in a casket.  Headstones have been ordered to mark all their graves.

When we come together to bury our brothers and sisters, there are no words we can say,” one speaker told the crowd.  “It hurts even more when we know that they don’t have family.”