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95-year-old unclaimed WWII veteran gets honorable burial by combat vets

Posted at 9:45 PM, Dec 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-10 21:45:24-05

TAMPA, Fla. — Rose Phillipp, 95, passed away in November at James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa, but no one ever claimed her remains.

So her military brothers and sisters with the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association came forward to adopt her as family, and give her a proper military burial.

"A two-hour ride in the 60-degree weather is the least I could do to say goodbye to the sister I didn’t even know," said Kathryn Wilgus, a Navy Veteran.

Tampa police led the procession that traveled from the hospital to Sarasota National Cemetery where Phillipp was buried.

This is the 19th unclaimed veteran funeral that CVMA has done in the last two years, and the first woman veteran they have laid to rest.

"We know our WWII veterans are dying at a fast pace, there’s not many left, and the rarity of being able to do this for our sister when no one else will is just a privilege for us," said Dave Allen with Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association.