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Teens act as pallbearers for homeless veterans

These veterans were men I have never met, but they helped make the country I live in safer and stronger.

Teen boys at the University of Detroit Jesuit School are being trained in something not usually taught at school.

The boys are volunteering as pallbearers for forgotten soldiers who have died alone and homeless and would otherwise have been buried in solitary, forgettable affairs.

"This was an opportunity to give something to somebody who finished their life on the fringe of society," said Tom Lennon, 17, a senior at the school told [Today].

"These veterans were men I have never met, but they helped make the country I live in safer and stronger. No matter who they were or what they did on earth, every person deserves a proper burial."

The new initiative is part of the schools student service team led by member of the school's faculty, Todd Wilson.

"The students' service is so important because they realize how they can give back to the people of our community who have given so much to us," Wilson said. "They believe that, through being a pallbearer at the funerals of veterans, the homeless, the socially poor and others, they are ... offering a final tribute to a person's life journey."

50 boys trained to be pallbearers at the first intake with more boys believed to be undergoing the training throughout November. Wilson says he's very proud of the lads.

"To watch them develop this program and to give so generously of their time and talent is impressive," said Wilson. "I have seen our students reach out of themselves and truly give selflessly to others. The students have come to understand that it is not our place to judge someone and their circumstances in life, but rather to celebrate and respect the dignity of that person's life."