The remains of 30 veterans who could not afford a funeral, or who were homeless when they died, will be laid to rest in a ceremony at the Marana Veterans' Memorial Cemetery Saturday.
The service will be conducted by the Southern Arizona Missing in America Project, which identifies unclaimed veterans' remains and either notifies estranged family members or arranges for military burials.
The event is open to the public.
“My father and my uncles and family friends all served in the military," said Shaun Pfund, a volunteer with the project. "This is my way of giving back, of recognizing their service.”
The burials and interments happen twice a year, and Pfund said they are always emotional.
“I get a little choked up at times, but each time I do a mission, I think I’m a little closer to my dad. I’m saying this is for you," Pfund said in an interview.
Ed Torres is also a volunteer on the project.
“I retired from the Army after 20 years of service. It’s like leaving no man behind; we bring them all home. And that’s exactly what it is that we’re doing," he said.
Saturday’s service begins at the Adair Funeral Home, 8090 N. Northern Ave., Oro Valley at 8 a.m.
It continues at about 10:30 a.m. the Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery in Marana, 15950 N. Luckett Road.