A U.S. Army veteran from Utah was honored by his family last week when nearly 100 of his friends gathered to send his remains into the air—along with some gunpowder—at a shooting range where he spent hundreds of enjoyable hours during his life.
Walter “Jim” Hosey, a Vietnam War Army veteran from LaVerkin, UT, who died Jan. 2, received a heartfelt sendoff from family members and friends Jan. 9 at the Southern Utah Practical Shooting Range in Hurricane where he spent much of his life.
The Marine Corps Times reports that in addition to the customary American Legion rifle salute, taps and the honorary presentation of the American flag to Hosey’s son Clint and daughters Emerald and Heidi, Hosey received a special kind of tribute in keeping with his personality. That’s because Clint loaded 50, 12-gauge shotgun shells with his father’s ashes and sent his dad’s remains downrange, with the help of compliant relatives and friends.
More than 100 family members and friend gathered for Saturday’s event, and many took a moment to share memories with those in attendance.
Clint said his father didn’t talk much about his service in Vietnam, and Hosey didn’t even bring the medals he’d received home with him when he returned from overseas. Instead, he concentrated on enjoying each day, and a big part of part that included shooting and owning firearms throughout his life.
“As soon as I could hold a pellet gun up, I was learning to shoot,” said Clint, who resides in Cedar City. Utah.
The funeral director admitted it was a first for him, though appropriate for the man and his family.
“It’s the first time for me that a veteran’s or an individual’s ashes were made into ammunition and then fired through a shotgun,” Spilsbury funeral director Mark Heiner said after the ceremony. “But it’s a fitting tribute to the way he lived.”