Friday, June 14, 2024

Forgotten no more: Dozens of strangers honor Marine veteran in funeral procession

Urn for Lance Cpl. Andrew Mauney
Urn for Lance Cpl. Andrew Mauney

Well over 100 people stood in honor of Lance Cpl. Andrew Mauney today at Coastal Carolina Veterans Cemetery. Dozens of motorcyclists rode more than 50 miles from Wilmington to Jacksonville in his funeral procession and Marines, both current and retired, watched in silence as his engraved urn was carried from the hearse.

Most of them had never met Lance Cpl. Mauney.

News of Lance Cpl. Mauney’s story spread over email chains, across social media and by word of mouth. He died at the age of 53 on Jan. 15, 2015, and his remains lay unclaimed at Wilmington Funeral & Cremation until the Rev. Bill Sirginson with the Missing in America Project ran his name through a database and learned of his military service.

From there, the Rev. Sirginson and many other veterans, including Sgt. Maj. Emmett Salas, worked to honor his service to the United States by giving him a ceremony with military honors. Sgt. Maj. Salas and Crystal Treanor, the outreach director at Wilmington Funeral & Cremation, both said how touched they were to see so many people coming to honor their fellow man.

The many in attendance to honor Lance Cpl. Andrew Mauney
Many attended the service to honor Lance Cpl. Andrew Mauney

The U.S. Marine Corps Honor Guard at Camp LeJeune gave a three-volley salute and the folded American flag was handed to Lance Cpl. Mauney’s close friend and neighbor, Elizabeth Thomason, who smiled through her tears as she shook the hands of well wishers.

As “Amazing Grace” was sung at the end of the ceremony, veterans and civilians alike joined in song. After a moment of quiet, soldiers currently serving in Lance Cpl. Mauney’s former military unit, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, all gave out one loud “oo-rah” in his memory.

Amanda Thames is the obituary writer for Port City Daily. Reach her at 910-772-6300 or

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