Charley Havice said he wants every fallen soldier and veteran to have a proper funeral service, with taps played on the trumpet and a flag placed at the gravesite.
So when a cemetery can’t provide a military service, Havice makes the arrangements.
“I come up with some people to help me,” Havice said.
Havice said he served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. Now he and his wife, Thelma, are giving back to veterans and their families.
The Augusta residents volunteer with their local VFW, delivering gifts to patients at nursing homes, caring for the cemetery’s flags and sending gift boxes overseas to military personnel in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The Havices also give time to the Kansas Guardianship Program, where they visit patients in nursing homes in Peabody, El Dorado, Augusta and other towns.
The Havices don’t volunteer for the show, Charley Havice said. Rather, they volunteer only to do their part.
“I give my final salute, I pray for the family and then I walk away,” Charley Havice said of his funeral services. “And so many times the family will stop me before I get to the car and thank me.”