Lancaster veteran died, remains went unclaimed. Until the coroner and vets stepped in

The remains of a military veteran who died in Lancaster County but was never claimed for burial will no longer sit on a closet shelf in the coroner’s office.

Lancaster County Coroner Karla Knight Deese identified the remains during an audit at her office, and helped arrange for a proper burial with full honors. The remains are those of Spc. Devon Kobold, who died in 2017 at age 85 in Lancaster County, Deese said.

Kobold served in military services from 1953 to 1955, according to Deese and veterans officials.

“My father was career military,” Deese said. “Our service members deserve the best we can give them.”

Deese worked with veterans groups and military officials to find a way to have a burial. The funeral was set for Friday at Fort Jackson National Cemetery near Columbia.

A South Carolina law enacted in 2012 allows for veterans groups to receive unclaimed remains from county coroners, then conduct services with honors. More than a dozen such burials have happened.

Members of the American Legion post from Chapin also worked to set up the services, according to a news release from the American Legion. An Honor Guard from the U. S. Army, and American Legion Post 71, North Augusta, provided full military honors.

The Chapin post, along with other groups, have helped with several burial services for veterans, said Steve Goulet of the American legion unclaimed veterans burial program.

‘”These veterans served with dignity and honor and when one is identified we give them the proper respect,” Goulet said.

The Chapin post worked with York County Coroner Sabrina Gast and military officials in 2014 in four burials of unclaimed veterans. In 2014, Gast’s office sent the remains of four military veterans whose ashes were never claimed to a special funeral at the same cemetery at Fort Jackson.

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