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Six indigent St Mary Parish veterans to be laid to rest in Jennings

Public invited to attend ceremony
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Posted at 6:58 AM, Mar 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-24 10:32:47-04

Burial honors for six indigent St. Mary Parish veterans will take place on Thursday at the Southwest Louisiana Veterans Cemetery in Jennings.

The ceremony was rescheduled from Tuesday due to inclement weather.

Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Joey Strickland, COL (USA Retired) is encouraging the public to attend the burials which will take place at 11 a.m.

Members of all local veterans service organizations are also invited to attend and honor the veterans for their service.

"We owe the men and women who have served our country a debt of gratitude, and that includes a burial with dignity," said Secretary Strickland. "These veterans do not have any relatives; however, we as a community will stand in the gap to honor them at their final resting place."

The cemetery staff says they worked in partnership with the St. Mary Parish Coroner's Office and LDVA veterans assistance counselors to locate the families of the veterans, but none were found.

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Veterans, active military and law enforcement stand outside of the St. Mary Parish Coroner's Office in Morgan City as six indigent veterans are taken to their final resting place at the Southwest Louisiana Veterans Cemetery in Jennings.

44 indigent veterans have been interred at LDVA's five veterans cemeteries over the past two years

The six veterans being laid to rest on Thursday, March 24 are:

Pvt. Darryl A. Lowry-U.S. Army
Served from 1977-1980

SP4 James Cecil Osborne- U.S. Army
Served from 1968-1971
Vietnam Veteran

Sgt Edward Lee Hall-U.S. Army
Served from 1971-1977
Vietnam Veteran

Cpl. Alton Eugene Caudle- USMC
Served from 1971-1975
Vietnam Veteran

Sr. Steve Edward Bihlmire-U.S. Navy
Served in 1961

PO3 Dean Ira Hurst- U.S. Navy
Served from 1973-1976

The St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office and other St. Mary Parish agencies escorted the veterans from the Morgan City to Jennings where they will be interred.

"It is because of veterans that we enjoy the freedoms of today," said Sheriff Blaise Smith. "Those serving now are assuring that those freedoms will not be taken away."

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Seating for the ceremony is limited.

The Southwest Louisiana Veterans Cemetery is located at 1620 Evangeline Road in Jennings.

For more information about the service or the cemetery, call 337.246.7094 or email

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