Horton staff are true servants

Published 9:20 pm Monday, August 27, 2012

To the editor:

I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Leslie Staley, Susan Ulrich and Morgan Powell, the staff of the Albert G. Horton Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery in Suffolk.

Several weeks ago, a former employee and veteran passed away with no local relatives to arrange for interment. A mutual friend had already taken care of the preliminary arrangements, and I was tasked with contacting the Veterans Administration to determine our options.

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I was somewhat concerned, because the only document in my possession was a death certificate. I did not have the all-important DD214 (personnel record). With some trepidation I called the local number, explained my situation and was prepared for a negative response, since I was not a relative, did not know the branch of service and did not have a DD214.

To my surprise, my apprehensiveness was unwarranted. Ms. Staley assured me that with the limited information I had provided she could research records to determine eligible benefits. She was pleasant and accommodating. I received several follow up calls in a timely manner. It was determined my friend was entitled to burial with military honors.

The ceremony subsequently took place, and this veteran was laid to rest with the respect he deserved.

I want to commend these individuals for performing their duties with such professionalism, efficiency and compassion. They should be emulated by others who are entrusted to assist the public.

Mike Duman