Their stories are mysteries. Their legacies are unforgotten.
Charles Schulken served in the United States Navy.
Aside from those two facts, the lives of those late homeless veterans were relatively unknown Saturday at the Veterans Museum and Memorial Center in Balboa Park.
“Nobody knows them,” said Steve McRoberts, Southern California Patriot Guard Riders captain.
But that didn’t stop the veterans from being remembered.
Loux and Schulken were the center of a memorial service with full military honors, their caskets entering and exiting the service through a flag line at about 12:30 p.m. In between, a long list of recently fallen vets was read as part of a weekly homage.
According to the Dignity Memorial Group, there are an estimated 150,000 homeless veterans in the country.
Over the past 10 years, the organization has given memorial services to more than 850 of them, supplying the caskets, flags, hearse and all other necessary items for no charge.
The program launched in 2000 and is now in 32 U.S. cities.
“It's an honor and a privilege to do this for any veteran,” McRoberts said. “I’m sure they’d be appreciative.”
McRoberts then looked up toward the sky.
“Right?” he said. “‘Oh, they’re probably here looking down, going, ‘Thank goodness someone’s there for me.’”