NORFOLK - A new effort is underway to make urns to the hold the remains of homeless veterans.
Ed Bunker and Petty Officer Dan Boltz are members of the local woodworkers guild and they've teamed up with Primeplus Senior Centers woodshop, the area's headquarters for Urns for Vets.
Primeplus says a 2011 report by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs states many families of homeless veterans cannot afford a proper burial. Remains have been found in cardboard boxes and plastic bags, turned up in landfills, and discovered in partially dug shallow graves, they say.
The Urns for Vets project got started after a Florida man began making wooden urns for the ashes and then took the idea to a woodworking club there.
Most of the boxes will fit in a cemetery's columbarium. The top glues on, the remains are put in the box through the bottom, which is then tightly screwed shut. The boxes are then sprayed with lacquer.
In all, materials for each box cost about $30.00 and they're constructed by volunteers. So far, 13 boxes have been made.
Local woodworking organizations have donated wood, which is mostly cherry, and other materials. C & B Diner, a popular Deep Creek eatery, has helped raise money for the effort as well.
To donate to the Urns for Vets project or for more information, call Lynne Berg at 757-625-5857.