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Home News D.C. Legionnaire helps honor veteran he never met

D.C. Legionnaire helps honor veteran he never met

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A.D. Carter III had never met Gregory Williams or his father, a Korean War veteran whose remains were unclaimed and was scheduled to be buried with full military honors Sept. 17 at Quantico National Cemetery in Triangle, Va.

But Carter, adjutant of The American Legion Department of Washington, D.C., was determined to help provide Williams’ father the proper send-off – and, if necessary, provide Williams transportation to the funeral.

Earlier this month, Washington, D.C., Medical Examiner Jennifer Love reached out to American Legion Post 139 in Arlington, Va., to let the members know that Williams would be unable to arrange transportation to his father’s funeral.

Post 139 Commander Bob Romano reached out to his friend, fellow Virginia Legionnaire Bob Sussan, who then reached out to Carter. Despite living nearly 80 miles away in Falls Church, Va., Carter was determined to help Williams.

“I live in Front Royal, Va., and he’s in (Suitland, Md.) which is 85 miles away from me,” Carter said. “But my point to (Williams) was, ‘If I have to, I will come to D.C. and get you and take you to Quantico.”

It turned out that Williams was able to get transportation to the funeral via his aunt and a handful of other family members. But that didn’t stop Carter from making the trip.

“I told him I was glad he got a ride and that I would talk to him later, knowing full well that I was going to be (at the cemetery) when he got there to ensure that everything was in order,” Carter said. “(Williams) was so overwhelmed that I showed up. He was like ‘Mr. Carter, I don’t believe it.’ He was just blown away that I showed up.”

Carter said that helping honor a veteran he’d never met before felt natural. “If anybody stepped up to the plate, especially during the Korean War, it is incumbent upon somebody to be there and say, ‘Goodbye. We appreciate your service.’ What would America had been if he had not stepped up to the plate?

“There isn’t anything worse than someone going out of here unnoticed. That’s not the way it should be. That’s not America. We can do better than that.”

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Did you know?

The issuance or replacement of military service medals, awards and decorations must be requested in writing.

Requests should be submitted in writing to the appropriate military service branch division of the NPRC. Standard form (SF 180), available through the VA, is recommended to submit your request. Generally, there is no charge for medal or award replacements. For more information, or for the mailing address of the military branch office to submit your request to, call 1-86-NARA-NARA (1-866-272-6272) or visit the NPRC website at