The Man Who Restores Veterans’ Lost Dignity

by Book of Do on February 17, 2017

Foundation for Do! award January 2017 recipient James Lindley, a former Marine, helps lay indigent servicemen to rest with military honors, calming his own wartime demons.

SEATTLE—James Lindley descended the basement stairs of the Columbia Funeral Home, took off his plaid shirt and changed into a black suit and tie.

He leaned into a mirror and checked the precise part in his dirty-blond hair under the light of a bare bulb. He knotted his tie in a double Windsor, replicating the symmetry his drill sergeant demanded in Marine Corps boot camp…

Black plastic urns were stacked on a table nearby. Each contained the ashes of a military veteran. Abandoned by families, ignored by bureaucracy, these men had been on a shelf for years before they landed here awaiting their last rites.

Mr. Lindley poured the remains of a Marine, a sailor and two soldiers into polished brass urns engraved with their names…

“I do what I can,” Mr. Lindley said, “which is take care of them when they’ve passed, when nobody else is there to do it.”

Read more about Do! award recipient James Lindley:

Previous post:

Next post: