Richard Graeber, a Vietnam War veteran who served in the Army as a helicopter gunner, died last year. His neighbor, Norma Guthrie, recently found his ashes sitting in storage in Portland, Oregon.
Guthrie told KPTV she assumed Graeber’s caretaker took care of his memorial, but apparently that wasn’t the case.“My husband is a vet so we decided to do the right thing.”
Guthrie organized the funeral and turned to the Department of Homeland Security for help. She said she was worried Graeber’s family wouldn’t attend, but members of the Patriot Guard Riders made sure Graeber received the full military honors he deserved upon burial.
Guthrie was able to locate some of Graeber’s family members, including his 6-year-old son, Richie. “We've taught him a little bit about what to expect. He doesn't fully grasp it. One day he will be able to look back,” Richie’s adoptive father said.
Guthrie was happy Graeber got the funeral he deserved. “I'm just happy that everyone could make it out and help me find Richie, because this is for them, not for me. This is the most important thing to a family,” she said.