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High school athletes carry the casket of a veteran who had no family.

Every person who has ever served our country has earned the right to a burial that is respectful and fitting of their sacrifice. When an old veteran passes away, however, there aren’t usually any family members or friends around to offer them the respect they deserve. This is something that should not be the case.

Ralph Lambert, a veteran of the United States Air Force who passed away in recent years, was one of many service members who had outlived everyone he had ever known and loved. Ralph was a veteran who served in the military from 1950 to 1971, but when he passed away in February 2022 at the age of 94, he had no one to honor his life and devotion to the country.

When Jordan Marks, a high school baseball coach at Menard High School in Alexandria, Louisiana, heard that Ralph was going to be cremated without a service, he knew that he could not allow that to take place on his watch. Ralph had been a player for the school’s baseball team. He asked the six senior players on his team to honor a veteran that they had no prior knowledge of, and they were more than happy to comply with his request.

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I try to teach them not only the game of baseball but also the game of life, and anytime that we can serve a member of the community or especially somebody that has served for our country, we are more than happy to do so, Jordan explained.

During the memorial service for Ralph, the players Ashton Veade, Cameron Kinder, Jackson Ford, Ashton Brodnax, and Hunter Foster wore their baseball uniforms and carried the flag-draped casket. Cameron Kinder, Jackson Ford, and Ashton Brodnax also wore their baseball uniforms. Despite the fact that none of the young men had ever had the pleasure of actually conversing with Ralph, they were overjoyed at the opportunity to be a part of the event.

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Jacob remarked that it was an honor for the seniors in the class to have the opportunity to go out there, particularly with someone who lacked family and friends.

Cameron admitted, “I felt sorry for you.” “I just wanted to express my gratitude that we were given the chance to go out there and simply be with somebody who has no one else in their life.” We all have our own families and groups of friends, but I think that sometimes we forget that there are other people in the world who do not have those things.

Ralph was laid to rest at the Central Louisiana Veterans Cemetery with the utmost respect and honor accorded to veterans. The veteran was laid to rest with friends by his side thanks to the thoughtfulness of this coach and the young players he coached.

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