Stevens County man creates urns for unclaimed veterans - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Stevens County man creates urns for unclaimed veterans

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Michael Ross painstakingly makes each urn by hand. Michael Ross painstakingly makes each urn by hand.

STEVENS COUNTY, WA. - For the last few years a Stevens County man, Michael Ross, has dedicated a lot of time and talent to making sure those who served our country are not forgotten. 

He spends five months painstakingly building the urns, but for Ross, he says it's the least he can do.

Sawing, sanding, smoothing and gluing.  He pays attention to every detail right down to the purple heart wood.  "It's a wood that comes from Central America and it's actually purple," says Ross. 

"I figured what better wood to use.  If you're wounded you get a purple heart so why not have purple heart as your final resting place." 

He started building the urns back in 2012 after seeing a ceremony on the local news where unclaimed veterans cremains were being laid to rest.   

"They were putting them in in whatever containment that they received them in, which would be a plastic bag, a cardboard shoe box, or a plastic box," says Ross.  "I thought they deserved better than that."

Although not a veteran himself, every year since then Ross has made around fifty of these urns to donate as a final resting place for those who sacrificed so much. 

"They served our country so we can do and be what we want to be.  I figured this was the least I can do to serve them."

Ross has started a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the project. If you donate up to $15 you will receive a thank you card, for $30 or more you get a heart key chain made out of the purple heart wood.  That Kickstarter campaign is active until the end of April.

To donate head to the link below. 

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/126738212/purple-heart-urns-for-unclaimed-veterans?ref=nav_search

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