Vietnam’s Larry Casey whose ashes were found 16 years after death given funeral.
There was a huge turnout Tuesday at the Baltimore National Cemetery for the funeral of a Vietnam veteran who died 16 years ago. Supporters and family were there thanks to one man and a social media post.
It was a full military funeral for Capt. Larry Casey. Dozens of military supporters, his wife and daughter were there to accept his burial flag.
“It’s unreal. I’m just overwhelmed with the turn out here,” said his widow Jan Casey.
Larry Casey might have been buried without mourners if not for Dave Fullarton, who found his ashes while cleaning out the home a friend who had passed away.
“None of us had any connection with Larry. We had never met him, never spoken to him. I didn’t know what to do with the remains, so I contacted Baltimore National Cemetery for some guidance,” Fullarton said.
The cemetery decided to hold a funeral for Casey. Fullarton shared the details on social media in the hopes of drumming up support from the military community and got a huge response. Cemetery officials also found Casey’s daughter, Leah, on social media and called her at work.
“I couldn’t believe myself. I was shaking for the first couple of hours.” Leah Casey said.
She and her stepmom Jan both found out about the funeral Monday and immediately booked flights to Baltimore. Leah now lives in Texas and Jan lives in Georgia.
“I was totally dumbfounded. Didn’t know what to think. I couldn’t believe what was happening,” Jan Casey said. “It’s, like, you wake up and things are starting all over again. It’s remarkable. I’m so excited this has happened.”
It is especially remarkable because Larry Casey died from the flu in 2002. His family had a funeral for him then. His wife scattered some of the ashes, and gave some to his best friend, Cliff. It is those ashes that Fullerton found.
“I just felt that Larry Casey deserved a proper funeral, a proper burial and a proper resting place,” Fullerton said.
Larry Casey’s family is grateful and said he would be humbled.
“That they wanted to honor him, and that was, I think, the most overwhelming part, is that they wanted to do this for my dad,” Leah Casey said.
The family said it plans to come back and bring his grandchildren to visit his grave.