No Veteran will be buried alone in the Jacksonville National Cemetery!
To honor those who have served this nation; to assist, accompany and promote a sympathetic relationship with Veterans and their families at internment services as needed; and be present when family or friends are unable to attend.
In September of 2008, a new volunteer service was formed for the Jacksonville National Cemetery. At the Dedication Ceremony the Jacksonville National Cemetery Advisory Committee suggested that local women’s organizations take on this “Last Tribute” to our Veterans that will be buried in the cemetery. The Jacksonville Ladies started meeting in November 2008 and were present for the first internments that began on January 7, 2009. This non-profit volunteer program shadows the Arlington Ladies, a volunteer group of military wives and lady veterans at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, whose service began in 1948.
Veterans with no family in attendance are of particular concern and the Jacksonville Ladies will be present when family or friends are unable to attend the services to ensure no Veteran will be buried alone. The intent of participation by the Jacksonville Ladies is strictly not to interfere with funeral services, but rather to support any Veteran or Veteran’s widow or family during a time when they feel the loss of a loved one. One Jacksonville Lady will be present to honor and attend each Veteran’s service at the cemetery as permitted by the family. A condolence card will be presented to the families and the Jacksonville Ladies will affirm that they are there to assist, accompany and promote a sympathetic relationship with Veterans and their families.
Membership and participation in the Jacksonville Ladies is strictly voluntary and not limited to military service related women and is not connected to membership or participation in any other affiliation. Members are obtained through word of mouth and participants will volunteer for specific dates depending on their availability with morning and afternoon shifts available. Up to two volunteers may be assigned to a specific date to cover the possibility of multiple funeral services running simultaneously.
The first service begins as early as 9:00 a.m. and can take place every thirty minutes with the last service ending by 2:30 p.m. from Monday through Friday. There is maximum number of times a volunteer may participate; however, Ladies must commit to one day each month. Training is mandatory before being put on the schedule. The Jacksonville Ladies will wear a uniform consisting of a navy blue suit with a patriotic collar or a Flag pin and the Jacksonville Ladies name tag at all services and events so they can be clearly identified. Volunteers will demonstrate a sincere desire to support Veterans and their families, and exhibit a willingness to honor those who have served this nation. In addition, Jacksonville Ladies will assist the cemetery staff with other volunteer duties as needed.
The Jacksonville National Cemetery is located north of the Jacksonville International Airport at 4083 Lannie Road in Jacksonville, FL and is just a few miles off of 1-295 and Lem Turner Road. For service information contact the office 766-5222. For information about the Jacksonville Ladies contact Kathie Garrett at 904-565- 1859 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org with “The Jacksonville Ladies” as the subject.