RIP USMC veteran Billy C. Aldridge, brother to all of us

 
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RIP USMC veteran Billy C. Aldridge, brother to all of us

Last week while I was in Cabo San Lucas I received a very sad email.

A U.S. Marine Corps veteran passed away last month in Indianapolis, leaving no family behind. Now the nursing home that cared for him, along with a local funeral service, are hoping the public will attend his funeral.

Legacy Cremation & Funeral Services in Lawrence is handling the service for Billy C. Aldridge. He died at the age of 80 at a local nursing facility on October 14. 

The nursing home had no records of any family and asked Legacy to assist by taking him into its care. No one stepped forward to make funeral arrangements so Legacy, along with Private Label Caskets, Memorial Park Cemetery and Indianapolis Police Escort, are working together to give the veteran a dignified burial.

Funeral services for Aldridge will be held on Tuesday, November 17, at 10:00 a.m. at Legacy Cremation & Funeral Services – Lawrence, 5215 N. Shadeland Avenue in Indianapolis.  Brig. Gen. J. Stewart Goodwin, Executive Director of Indiana War Memorials, will deliver the eulogy.  Burial will follow at Memorial Park Cemetery. The Indy Metropolitan Military Honor Guard will provide military honors. 

"We would like to encourage the public, especially any veterans, to attend this service and pay their respects to Mr. Aldridge," said Eddie Beagles, Vice-President of Funeral Operations for Legacy Cremation & Funeral Services.  "In keeping with our company mission, giving this veteran who faithfully served his country a proper burial with military honors is the right thing to do."

Today I went to that funeral, and while I never met Mr. Aldridge, I was joined by over 1,000 other people who never met him either.  The venue had to be moved to a bigger church, and there were still so many people that some were packed in over flow rooms.  It was humbling beyond belief.  It's sad that Mr. Aldridge didn't know how many people cared about him in life, but he was our brother, and the entire veterans population of Indiana seemed to show up.  There were Legion riders, Marines, Army personnel, just about everyone was there.

I'm glad I went.  I feel better for having gone, and I appreciate all those who went as well.  May no veteran go unloved, and when they go to their eternal reward, those of us who remain should rightfully be there to say good bye.

Posted in the burner | 2 comments
 
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Comments

I am 10 years older than Mr. Aldridge. If he served during the Korea War, then we both served in the Marine Corps at the same time. I was assigned to the Camp Pendleton Base Legal Office as an 01 and as a Spanish & English Interpreter and Translator in 1955. Mr. Aldridge could have been assigned to Camp Pendleton also at that time, but I never met him. I will meet him and salute him the day I transfer to the best assignment which is heaven. Thanks to all my Marine brothers and sisters who attended Mr. Aldridge's funeral. SEMPER FI, MARINES

While I am encouraged by this article I will bring to the attention of our patriotic public that the VA Hospital in Bay Pins Florida conducts a full fledged military funeral for "unattended veterans" on the first Tuesday of each month with attendance of the American Legion Riders and Patriot Guard who form an impressive US flag line. God bless them all!

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.