With over 28 years in the funeral business, Mike Heflebower has some great stories to tell. These 3 military burials have stories connected to them that could be movies.
Head of Security
The SR-71, also known as the Blackbird Spy Plane, was used in the US Air Force between the years of 1964 to 1998. Only 32 of these planes were built and they are known to be able to hit Mach 3. This aircraft currently holds the record as the fastest manned jet.This 105 foot jet had its inaugural flight on December 22, 1964.
Mr. Fenner was the head of security around that time, at the Air Force Academy. He always longed to be buried at the Air Force Academy, but because he wasn’t an officer, he wasn’t allowed to be buried in their cemetery. Given the fact that he was cremated and his family knew of this wish, it is possible his ashes linger on the property, secretly. We think if you like this story, you may like Tom Hank’s movie Bridge of Spies.
Spy vs. Spy
If you gobbled up the Bourne movies- those ones about the action spy Jason Bourne, you may enjoy the story of Mr. X (as we shall call him). Mr. X served in the special operations with the US Military and after 20 years of not returning home, his wife and children wanted to put him to rest. Because the government was not able to acknowledge his existence, it took over 2 years to convince the military to provide a headstone. He is now buried in the soldier circle in the Wyuka Cemetery in Lincoln, NE.
The Miracles of WWII
A man by the name of Smith, died of natural causes while in his late 80’s. That is not all that surprising until you learn that Mr. Smith was a 5’5” tall B-17 ball turret gunner in World War II. Even that, may not be all that impressive until you learn that most of those the aircraft were destroyed, and yet this guy, who shot at enemy aircraft from a bubble below a plane, lived through it. This particular aircraft was called by some the “widowmaker” as the survival rate was supremely low. The movie “Memphis Belle” captures what may have been Mr. Smith’s experience as does this historical summary:
“The ball turret gunner was responsible for informing the bomber pilot about any planes attacking from the underside of the aircraft, as well as responding with the two fifty caliber machine guns mounted in the turret, which hung from the underside of the plane. While B-17 crews had a 30% mortality rate, the ball turret gunners had a 60% mortality rate.” [Source]
We don’t all have a life story that is paralleled in the movies, but that doesn’t make our lives any less valuable, nor your end of life wishes any less important. Your end of life celebration has its own unique story to tell. Let us tell it.