The cardboard box showed up at the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Hurst two weeks ago. A cook found it on the doorstep.
Inside it was a pair of dog tags, a bag of ashes, and a note.
“This man was a WW 2 veteran that served honorably,” it said, “Please see that he gets a proper burial. Thank you! God Bless you!”
There was also a card from a Lewisville crematorium with a name: Ollie Worley.
“At first, I was shocked, then I got angry and mad,” Rush Dewade, the post chaplain, said Wednesday. “Then I realized that whoever dropped [the ashes] off had no idea what to do with them. I took this on to make sure he gets the respect he deserves.”
Dewade went to work trying to verify Worley’s service with the National Archives in Washington, D.C. The archives confirmed that Worley, a Fort Worth native who died in 1990, served in the military from 1943 to 1945.
Worley was also eligible, Dewade found, to be interred at Dallas/Fort Worth National Cemetery in Dallas.
The chaplain arranged a ceremony at the cemetery for 1 p.m. Monday. But the service, Dewade said, wouldn’t be complete without finding someone who knew Worley.
“I’ve been searching all over the internet for his relatives,” Dewade said.
On his Facebook page Tuesday, Dewade told Worley’s story and wrote, “Lets not let one of Our Greatest Generation be buried alone.”
The post had been shared more than 150 times by Wednesday night. Dewade also received information on Worley’s family members, and he’s been trying to get in touch with them.
“I just want someone there to accept the flag and the dog tags,” Dewade said.
Anyone with information on Worley can contact the Hurst VFW post at 817-282-9071.
© 2016 the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.