Second family comes forward to say loved one misidentified as homeless at vet burial ceremony

The family of a veteran who died says their loved one was misidentified as homeless in a burial ceremony last week.

News 12 Staff

Jul 18, 2019, 9:43 PM

Updated 1,794 days ago

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The family of a veteran who died says their loved one was misidentified as homeless in a burial ceremony last week.
Franklyn Lansner Sr. served in the Navy, raised a family and traveled around the world. But he was identified as one of five homeless veterans who were buried with full military honors last week at Long Island National Cemetery.
Franklyn's son Tom Lanser says his father was never homeless.
"It really hurt, the idea that he was described as indigent, homeless, dying with no one around, it was quite shocking," says Tom Lansner.
Tom Lansner says his father passed away in his Westbury home at the age of 94 surrounded by family. This would make him the second person from the burial ceremony who was misidentified as homeless.
As News 12 has reported, Irving Beiser, who lived in Central Islip, was also called a homeless veteran. Both men had donated their bodies to Stony Brook School of Medicine for scientific research, and their ashes were unclaimed.
Both families only learned about the memorial after seeing it reported on News 12 and in Newsday.
"I'm sure the ceremony itself was great, and we appreciate those efforts, but we would have wanted to be there as well," says Tom Lansner.
The veterans were labeled as homeless due to a media release that used the word "homeless" multiple times. The release was sent out by funeral home operator Charles Spencer, who helped organize the event.
When asked why they were labeled as homeless, Spencer says, "Because they had no home. They were unclaimed. So they had no home."
Tom Lansner says that just because his father's ashes were unclaimed, doesn't mean he was homeless or alone when he died.
Stony Brook's School of Medicine says it never identified the veterans as homeless, and followed strict guidelines when handing over the remains.


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