In Fort Wayne, Indiana, hundreds came to pay their respects to James Beavers, a Vietnam veteran they didn’t even know.
Beavers had been dead 3 days before anyone checked on him and found his body, just before Thanksgiving. After an extensive three week search for family that came up empty, funeral home D.O. McComb and Sons stepped up to provide a burial with full military honors.
They put out a call to veteran’s groups to ensure that one of America’s heroes wasn’t buried alone – but they were not ready for the response as thousands arrived from across the country to show their respects.
“I felt I needed to be here because it’s a brother-in-arms. Doesn’t matter what war or who it is. It’s family,” Ryan Masten, a veteran from Battle Creek, Michigan, said.
The Indiana Patriot Guard kept watch outside of Lakeside Park Chapel for nearly three hours before the service.
“We came out today to pay Mr. Beavers the respect that he’s due for his service in Vietnam. Doesn’t matter that he doesn’t have any family members that are known. What matters is that we’re here today to show him that respect. We’re honored to be here. People take time out of their days to do this. There are still a lot of patriotic people in this country and we’re glad to stand their shoulder to shoulder with them today,” Senior Chaplain for the Indiana Patriot Guard Pat Brase said.
"One vet traveled 900 miles one way to be there. 'Just paying my respects to another veteran,' he said."In Fort Wayne, Indiana, hundreds came to pay their respects to James Beavers, a Vietnam veteran they didn't even know.
Posted by Fox News on Saturday, December 19, 2015
“When one falls, it’s good to come around and recognize them,” Jack Van Burk, who serves in Security Forces for the Air Force, told local reporters.
Aimmie Jenkins and her husband are both in the military. She brought her 11-year-old son, Andy, to Thursday’s service so he could understand how those in the military community support one another.
“We have each other’s backs. We’re each other’s battle buddies. We’re going to be here for each other regardless of the situations. Whether it’s a stick of butter, a t-shirt that you need to borrow, or a funeral for a person you don’t know, we’re going to be there for you,” Jenkins said. “We walk up here, and there’s hundreds and hundreds of people that have never met this man, but we’re going to take care of our own.”