Military & Motorcycles June 22, 2012 | Born To Ride Motorcycle Magazine - Motorcycle TV, Radio, Events, News and Motorcycle Blog

Military & Motorcycles June 22, 2012

Published on June 22, 2012 under Born To Ride


Is an acronym for ‘Missing In America Project’ ( What this project does is locate military personnel who have passed away and their cremains are sitting on a shelf in a back room somewhere awaiting the burial with the respect and honor they deserve.

I received a call from a friend of mine by the name of Jim Scollen who is the Florida State Coordinator for MIAP and he related a story to me regarding a gentleman by the name of Lemon Troy Hopkins whose cremains were discovered sitting in a back shed in Wewahitchka, Florida which is in Gulf County (Panhandle area).

During the first part of this month a man by the name of Don Baxter was cleaning out an abandoned home and decaying shed outback that he had purchased and he came upon a brass plaque and urn in the shed. The name on the grave marker plaque was that of Lemon Troy Hopkins, U.S. Navy, June 8, 1937, to November 1, 1986.”

In his heart he knew that a family was looking for this warrior and he needed to locate that family.

During research it was discovered Mr. Hopkins had passed away in the Tuskegee, Alabama Veterans Affairs Hospital in 1986.

As the research continued the Panama City News Herald newspaper wrote a column and in the column was this simple question ‘Anybody missing a relative who died about a quarter century ago?’ And it gave Lemon Troy Hopkins name.

It wasn’t too long before the column generated a call from Rickey Hopkins who is Lemon’s son.

Arrangements were made and Ricky, his brother Wendell and sister, Vickie met with Donald Baxter to pick up their missing Father.

As it turned out Lemon Troy Hopkins was reunited with his family on his birthday, June 8th. He was taken home by his family and will be buried in the Barrancas National Cemetery in Pensacola.

All I can say is Welcome Home Lemon and may you rest peacefully and thank you for your service.

Why did I tell this story? To make a point of what the Missing In America Project does. They look for veterans who have been placed on a shelf in a backroom of a funeral home or mortuary somewhere to be forgotten due to no one claiming them.

MIAP makes every legal attempt to locate any living and/or known family member and if that proves to be unsuccessful, they take the necessary steps to ensure the cremains are given a military burial with the dignity, honor and respect they so deserve.

Should you know of anyone in the funeral home business check with them to see if they have cremains which may belong to an unclaimed veteran. If so have them email Jim Scollen at or call him at 239-693-8050 between 8 am and 5 pm.

If you would like to contact me please do so at and remember “It’s not about the war, it’s about the warriors.” God Bless America and those who serve in uniform.


Terry Longpre



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