10 North Texas veterans donate bodies to science

A special group of veterans was honored at DFW Cemetery Friday morning.

The group was recognized not just for their service in life, but also for the unique way they gave in death. The 10 service members donated their bodies to science through the UNT Willed Body Program.

Family members said then men and women were selfless. As veterans, they gave to their country. And in death, it just seemed appropriate for them to give their bodies to science and medicine ultimately to help mankind.

In all, 10 veterans are honored at the DFW National Cemetery in Dallas for their service in WW II and Vietnam. But it's their afterlife service that's being remembered today.

Six soldiers, two sailors and two airmen donated their bodies to medicine as their final act of service.

Suzy Robinson's husband of 47 years, Jerry, voluntarily served his country in the army in Vietnam and most recently through the UNT Health Science Center Willed Body Program.

“We made this decision together,” she said. “And we understand that doctors have to learn."

Lidia Bissell's husband, Charles, also donated his body in the interest of science and medicine.

"This puts me at rest knowing that his spirit of giving goes on,” she said. “This ceremony, what it does is shows my husband's legacy of serving his country.  And when he was still insistent that his body be donated to science to serve others to find cures for others people or to be for betterment for the medical community."

The sacrifices of men and women like this help educate future physicians and scientists to improve the quality of future health care. They are now laid to rest on hallowed ground in a place of honor alongside their brothers and sisters in arms.

"It's a beautiful closure for us,” Robinson said. “And we can always come back and see his niche and smile."

UNT Willed Body Program: https://www.unthsc.edu/academic-affairs/academic-and-institutional-resources-and-technology/center-for-anatomical-sciences/willed-body-program/

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