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Thousands of Strangers Show Up To Honor 'Unaccompanied' Veteran at His Funeral

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Most families either have a family member who served in the military, or they know someone who has served in the military. Just a few decades ago, almost every man had served our country by fighting in a war.

Nowadays, both men and women serve in the United States military. But the truth is, in a lot of ways, this act of humble servitude has simply become viewed as another career choice.

This mindset truly does not reflect the honor and selflessness that is required for those who want to serve our country in this manner. Joining the military is a sacrifice, and it should be honored and treated as such with the utmost respect and reverence.

For instance, 96-year-old Duane Sherman, a World War II veteran, received the ultimate surprise with an act of gratitude for his birthday. Having lost most of his friends, Duane’s daughter, Sue Morse, asked others to write to Sherman on his birthday.

Sherman ended up receiving over 60,000 cards, trinkets, war antiques and even visits from strangers.

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This was truly the ultimate act of love and kindness towards a man who sacrificed so much for his country. Showing this kind of respect for veterans is what we should do on a regular basis, and that’s what thousands of strangers did on Jan 28. for one deceased Air Force veteran from Texas.

According to Fox News, the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Killeen, Texas, sent out a Facebook post over the weekend when a funeral home in Austin could not reach the family of veteran Joseph Walker after they made the initial funeral arrangements.

“We made every attempt,” funeral director Gilbert Cavazos said.

Walker served in the Air Force from Sept. 1964 through Sept. 1968. He passed away in November at the age of 72.

The post from the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery read, “We have the distinct honor to provide a full military burial for unaccompanied United States Air Force Veteran Joseph Walker on MONDAY, JANUARY 28, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. at Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery. If you have the opportunity, please come out and attend. We do NOT leave Veterans behind.”

KWTX-TV reported that 5,000 to 6,000 cars were in line to attend Walker’s funeral.

“This is absolutely the biggest and we want to thank the media,” said Douglas Gault, the chief on-site representative of the Texas State Veterans Cemetery program.

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“It’s the media that pushes it out real, real far because I was receiving calls from people all the way from Oregon.”

Fort Hood 3rd Air Support Operations Group Col. Charles Drouillard arranged for a group to accompany Walker.

“We are lucky to get enough guys together part of the Air Force contingent and honor our fellow veteran,” Drouillard said.

“My wife actually saw it on a Facebook post and thought we should honor him because we read he had no family or friends in the area.”

Drouillard reported that he wasn’t surprised at the number of supporters who came out for the funeral.

He said, “It’s a testament to the bond that we share of having served whether it be Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corp, Coast Guard it doesn’t matter. We all served we all share that common bond and it shows you just how strong that bond is.”

“Today we’re not strangers,” Marc George, a member of the Central Texas Combat Vets Motorcycle Ministry Services, said to those in attendance. “Today we are family. This is our brother, Joseph Walker.”

Walker was buried with military honors and was laid to rest with thousands by his side. It is truly remarkable to see the respect and support given by complete strangers to honor this veteran.

We are thankful every day for the sacrifices made by veterans, who are selflessly stationed around the country and the world to fight for our nation.

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Erin Shortall is an editorial intern for The Western Journal. She is currently finishing her Bachelor's Degree at Grove City College. She has a passion for homeless ministry in her home city of Philadelphia, PA.
Erin Shortall is an editorial intern for The Western Journal. She is currently finishing her Bachelor's Degree at Grove City College. She has a major in English, minors in both Writing and Communication Studies, and a Technical Writing concentration. She is currently working on designing and writing a book of poetry to financially support a new homeless ministry of Grove City, PA called Beloved Mercy Ministry. In her spare time, she loves to sing, play piano, exercise, traverse cities, and find the cutest coffee shops. She also has a passion for homeless ministry in her home city of Philadelphia, PA.
Birthplace
Philadelphia, PA
Honors/Awards
Scholarship of Academic Achievement and Moral Character
Education
Grove City College
Location
Grove City, PA
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
Visual Design, Document Design, Technical Communication, Literature, Computer Ethics




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