Sylvia Cyr Bushey is helping make sure impoverished armed forces members are not unheralded when they come to their final resting place.
While those military men and women may not have family members to send flowers or attend their funeral ceremony, Beaufort residents and their military comrades come together to provide a funeral with full military honors through the Indigent Soldier Program at Beaufort National Cemetery.
Bushey, owner of Carolina Floral Design in Beaufort, is one of those Beaufort comrades because of her close ties to the military. Bushey's father retired from the U.S. Marine Corps and her husband has served 22 years in the Corps, now as a mechanic with the VMFA 115, Silver Eagles. She has grown up in Beaufort, always aware of the military presence and its importance.
"There are not a lot of military members who don't have any family," Bushey said. "In your heart you just feel terrible that they don't have anybody."
Bushey said it is important for everyone to have flowers at their funeral and that the Indigent Soldier Program deserves to be recognized for the service it provides. The Beaufort florist was one of a group of women honored recently by Zonta Club of Beaufort for her work with the program. Part of her business includes providing flowers for the graves at the cemetery.
"(Troops' relatives) call me because their loved ones are buried in the Beaufort National Cemetery and I digitally send them a photo of the arrangement and their marker and stone," Bushey said. "It means a lot to them during a holiday or birthday; it is their connection to being there."
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