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Unclaimed remains of U.S. veterans interred in Phoenix

PHOENIX – When called, they served. They are America’s lost service members and on Tuesday, they were finally honored.

For decades, the remains of 36 honorably discharged veterans were unclaimed, sitting inside the Messinger Mortuary in Scottsdale.

“They served in various branches of the service. World War I, World War II, and Korea and Vietnam,” said Paul Messinger, board chairman.

After trying for years to find their families, Messinger reached out to the Missing in America Project (MIAP), which makes sure all veterans have a proper burial.

“They signed a blank check up until death,” said Clyde Davis, head of the Northern Arizona MIAP. “And for them to be sitting on a shelf forgotten is totally wrong. And we’re here to see that never happens again.”

Messinger and Davis helped escort the 36 urns from the Scottsdale mortuary to the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona in Phoenix. Once there, the veterans received full military honors before their interment.