A World War II veteran who was found buried in a cardboard box because he had no family to tend to his funeral will again be laid to rest, but this time in a donated coffin and with military honors.
Veteran Army PVT Lawrence Davis Jr. arrived at Bushnell National Cemetery in a cardboard box from the medical examiner’s office in 2004. He was buried in a shallow grave inside that same box.
Maintenance workers found his remains earlier this year. When the story made headlines, a funeral home operator volunteered to donate a coffin.
Gene Whitfield donated a casket for PVT Davis Jr. and worked with the director of the Florida National Cemetery to honor the veteran.
PVT Davis Jr. will be interred in that casket Tuesday, with U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, Whitfield, U.S. Rep. Rich Nugent (R-FL) and representatives from veterans’ service organizations in attendance.
The ceremony is scheduled Tuesday, July 3, at 10:30 a.m. at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell.
In addition, Sens. Nelson (D-FL) and Marco Rubio (R-FL), along with the chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Patty Murray (D-WA), and ranking member, Richard Burr (R-NC), are sponsors of a bill called The Dignified Burial of Veterans Act of 2012. It would require the Department of Veterans Affairs to review its burial standards and would authorize it to purchase caskets or urns for indigent veterans in our national cemeteries according to a news release from Nelson’s office.