Families For Forgotten Heroes

" care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan..."
- Abraham Lincoln -

Families For Forgotten Heroes searchable Database of Unclaimed Veterans

We are the story tellers, the bards, the druids of the tribes.
We hear the calling of those who went before us as their path leads to ours.
We yearn to discover their stories, to know each and every one of them.
We search for their graves, their histories, and an understanding of their lives beyond cold statistics.
We connect to a past rich in history and hardships, loves and losses, glories and gains.
We understand ourselves as we understand them, the same genes, the same features, the same family.
We honour them and bestow our respect to their memory, for their bones are our bones, their flesh is our flesh.
We record carefully all that we have unearthed, learned, discovered, understood and surmised.
Then, we pass the torch of knowledge and heritage to our children, our grandchildren and their grand children.
We are the story tellers, the bards, the druids of the tribes.

© Anne Stevens
December 3, 2003
Used With Permission

There are literally tens of thousands of unclaimed cremains in this country. Thousands of them have been identified as United States Veterans, sometimes waiting decades to be identified as veterans and given a proper military burial. Many times, the only people in attendance at this service are the funeral directors and the Honors Team. That is the last they are heard of. Their legacy gone. That is changing.

The Families for Forgotten heroes (FFFH) program was founded in April 2011 and is a 501C3 Not For Profit Corporation. Part of our mission is to maintain a searchable online Database of Unclaimed Veterans, and through the tireless efforts of our Genealogy Team, locate Next of Kin for these Unclaimed Veterans.

FFFH has developed database software specifically designed for public access to the names of these unclaimed veterans. The FFFH database is the only internet searchable database of Unclaimed U.S. Veterans in existence. It also includes the names of veterans who were previously unclaimed and have since been claimed. Through the efforts of our Database Team, new veterans are added to our database regularly. The Database Team not only adds veterans to the database, but updates entries in the database as more information is found out about the soldier.

Interest in FFFH has grown rapidly. We are partnered with several veteran service organizations, funeral homes and government offices to both add names to our database, and fulfill our mission of locating next of kin for unclaimed veterans.

Anyone that wants to volunteer is welcome and all like minded organizations were welcome to participate. That leads us to where we are today. Although we are still evolving we are successful at fulfilling our mission. With your help we will continue to do so. Find out what you can do!

  A Forgotten Hero (FH) is a United States Veteran who has served our country in the military and whose remains were unclaimed. Unclaimed is used to describe a veteran who:

  • died with no known Next of Kin (NOK), NOK could not be found or NOK was not yet searched for
  • died but the family was unable to afford the interment
  • died but the family never claimed the remains for burial
  • died but for some unknown reason was never interred

They are all classified an Unclaimed Forgotten Heroes because family members were not by their side when they were buried.

The Forgotten Heroes in our database come from many sources.
1) The FH cases that are referred to us by coroners, medical examiners, and law enforcement offices have usually passed away with no known NOK (Next of Kin) or next of kin could not be reached. You will find most of the veterans in these cases have died in the past year. Our mission in these cases is to identify who the living NOK is and what their current contact information is. We seek name, relationship, address, phone numbers, e-mail, and sometimes other forms of contact such as social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and My Space. We summarize this information and give it to the agency who presented us with the case so family can be notified of the passing and/or burial of their Veteran.
2) The FH cases that are referred to us by PGR (Patriot Guard Riders), MIAP (Missing In America Project), NJMOH (New Jersey Mission of Honor) and Dignity Homeless Veterans Project, and other similar veterans organizations or funeral homes may or may not have known NOK. Each state has its own laws in regards to unclaimed remains. Some of the Forgotten Hero cases are cremains that have been stored on a shelf in a basement or storage unit for years.
   Only recently have laws been changed that allow for military burial of these unclaimed remains.

There are several groups researching unclaimed cremains found at funeral homes to verify first if the cremains are veterans and if they are, arranging for a proper military burial in one of our National Cemeteries. Some of these groups go no further. Our mission in these cases is the same as in #1. Families need to be found so they can be notified of the burial of their Veteran, regardless of whether or not they knew of their Veterans death.

We Bring Soldiers Home.SM

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