Former U.S. Air Force veteran had no one at his funeral ― until a local high school baseball team showed up

War heroes deserve the nation’s gratitude and recognition for their heroism and sacrifices. Sadly, with the passage of time, these brave men and women just fade into the background, seemingly forgotten and erased from people’s memories.  

When 94-year-old U.S. Air Force veteran Ralph Lambert died on February 8, 2022, no family members or close friends were around to bid him farewell. Lambert served the nation from 1950 to 1971.

Despite his decades of service, it appeared that he would be buried in Louisiana with no one even knowing about his heroic efforts and giving him the proper send-off and tribute he deserved.


Jordan Marks, coach of the Menard High School baseball team in Alexandria, Louisiana, knew that he had to do something about the situation.

When he heard about the sad story of the war veteran who would be cremated with no service, Marks picked six players from his team to attend the funeral and carry his coffin. 

According to the baseball coach, this is to teach his players about the game of life. Besides teaching valuable baseball lessons, Marks wants his players to be ready to help and serve the community, especially war veterans like Lambert. 

Menard High School baseball team

For Marks, serving a member of the community, especially one who has served the country, is something he’d be more than happy to do.  

Lambert was a national hero, so Coach Marks wanted him to have a funeral fit for one and give his players a chance to learn an important life lesson.

As a baseball coach, it’s not just his job to teach them how to be great at the sport. He also wants to help shape their characters to grow into good and responsible adults. 

Coach Marks believes in watching out for each other, just as one would a teammate on the playing field, and strives to inspire his boys to be active members of the community, just like he is.

So he talked about Lambert with his team, and six seniors enlisted to attend the funeral service and carry the U.S. Air Force veteran’s coffin

The six seniors who showed up to be the pallbearers were Hunter Foster, Ashton, Brodnax, Jackson Ford, Jacob Giordano, Cameron Kinder, and Ashton Veade. 

The U.S. Air Force veteran’s flag-draped casket was carried to the Central Louisiana Veterans Cemetery, where he was given full military honors and laid to rest. 

baseball team as pallbearers

After the touching and poignant moment, Jacob Giordano, one of the six seniors who carried the coffin, shared that they felt honored to be Lambert’s pallbearers. 

Cameron Kinder was also happy to step in since the war veteran had no family and friends. According to Kinder, it’s so easy to forget that there are people in this world who have no families, and people like Lambert deserve a proper goodbye. 

The baseball players received an outpouring of love, appreciation, and support from people when they heard about their heartwarming gesture and Lambert’s sad story.

People from the community and online lauded the young boys for their kind and caring hearts.

They shared how proud they were of these upstanding young men and what an immense honor it must have been to escort a war veteran to his resting place.

It was indeed a remarkable act to show gratitude and respect to a man who served the country.

war veterans cemetery

Ralph Lambert isn’t the only U.S. Air Force veteran to be cremated or buried without friends or family. Sadly, it’s quite common for U.S. war veterans to be cremated without any family or friends present. 

Organizations like the Missing in America Project work to help find, identify, and inter unclaimed cremains of American veterans.

The organization works with private, state, and federal organizations to secure a final resting place and provide an honorable and respectful service for these forgotten heroes. 

A snappy salute to former U.S. Air Force veteran Ralph Lambert, and big thanks to Coach Marks and his thoughtful players who never met the man but showed up out of love and respect!

2 thoughts on “Former U.S. Air Force veteran had no one at his funeral ― until a local high school baseball team showed up”

  1. Coach Marks, thank you! You taught these kids a very good lesson is life, to be grateful to people who served our country. May your tribe increase.

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