Fellow Patriot:

The voluntary financial generosity of Patriots — people like you — keeps our doors open. Please support the 2021 Independence Day Campaign today. Thank you for your support! —Nate Jackson, Managing Editor

Todd Starnes / Jan. 4, 2017

Teens Step Forward to Serve as Pallbearers for Veteran With No Family

Navy veteran Jerry Wayne Pino died on Dec. 12th in Long Beach, Mississippi. He was 70 years old. We don’t know that much about Jerry. He was born in Baton Rouge and joined the Navy in New Orleans. He was a petty officer third class in Vietnam. That’s the extent of his biography. No family. No friends. He died alone.

Navy veteran Jerry Wayne Pino died on Dec. 12th in Long Beach, Mississippi. He was 70 years old.

We don’t know that much about Jerry. He was born in Baton Rouge and joined the Navy in New Orleans. He was a petty officer third class in Vietnam. That’s the extent of his biography.

No family. No friends. He died alone.

Jerry’s body lay unclaimed for several weeks at Riemann Family Funeral Homes.

“No one stepped forward,” funeral home worker Cathy Warden told me. “He just didn’t have any family.”

Miss Cathy explained the situation to her colleague Eva Boomer and together they decided something must be done to give this veteran a proper send off.

“Something had to be done with respect,” Miss Cathy said. “We had to give him what he deserved. Nobody should go alone.”

Miss Eva, who is also a veteran, wondered if some of the boys at Long Beach High School might be willing to serve as pallbearers. It was a longshot, though, seeing how most of the students were out on Christmas break.

But Miss Cathy called her teenage son Bryce who in turn texted some of his friends — and within a matter of minutes, six young men had volunteered to serve at a stranger’s funeral.

Nobody should go alone.

“It was the right thing to do,” 17-year-old Bailey Griffin told me. “He served our country. He fought for our rights. For him to be buried with nobody there was just sad. I told myself I was going to do it and I did it.”

They buried Petty Officer Third Class Jerry Pino on a Tuesday. The sun was shining and there was a cool, gulf coast breeze meandering through the Biloxi National Cemetery. An honor guard stood at attention.

The boys were smartly dressed in khaki pants and Sunday shirts and neck ties. They solemnly took their places on either side of the flag-draped coffin and escorted a man they did not know to his final resting place.

“I went out there for the service and cried the whole way through,” Miss Cathy said. “He had no one there. This veteran had nobody standing there but these boys.”

But what happened at the end of the funeral was incredibly moving and poignant.

The flag that had draped Jerry’s coffin was folded and presented to the six young men from Long Beach High School, home of the Bearcats.

“It touched my heart,” she said.

It’s just proof that moms and dads are doing something right in Long Beach, Miss Cathy said.

“Our community is teaching these boys from the heart how it should be — how to care,” she said.

They are still trying to figure out what to do with the flag that draped Jerry’s coffin. It’s being encased in glass along with a plaque that bears his name.

There’s talk about putting the flag on display at the high school or perhaps inside the locker room where four of the pallbearers play football.

It would be a fitting tribute to a man who died alone but who was buried surrounded by his fellow countrymen.

And oh what a lesson for the rest of us, demonstrated by a group of young boys from Mississippi who committed in their hearts that nobody should go alone — especially a veteran.

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

★ PUBLIUS ★

“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2021 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.