Those who served the country in uniform are part of a lifelong extended family. Some are more active in “family matters” than others, but that spirit is always there close to the surface in all.

Today, five veterans from the Yakima area will take one last ride to their final resting place, the Washington State Vets Cemetery in Medical Lake.

Two sailors, two soldiers and one airman have passed away over the years, their bodies cremated and their remains left on shelves at funeral homes or coroner’s office, unclaimed by any blood family or friends. Some were from World War II, others were from the Gulf War, but despite the difference in their eras of service, what they shared in common was that they were seemingly left behind and forgotten in death.

Not so fast. Not if these folks have anything to say about that. They are the volunteer extended military family and today the men and women of the Patriot Guard and the VFW organized one last “Forgotten Heroes Ride.”

The VFW honor guard provided a military funeral service with prayer, 21-gun salute and taps and the motorcycle riders of the Patriot Guard rolled as escorts.

It was brief, it was important, there were tears and there was pride and the extended family of our military once again took good and proper care of its own. It was an honor to be there.