Thousands attend funeral for Vietnam veteran with no family

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Thousands attend funeral for Vietnam veteran with no family

I'm never going to not post these, because it's one of the best things we do as a community:

Thousands of people on Wednesday attended the funeral of a Vietnam War veteran after hearing that he had no living relatives.

Friends of Wayne Wilson had put out a call for people to come to his burial at the Silverbrook Cemetery in Niles, Michigan, and expected only 10 to 15 people to show up, CNN reported.

Instead, about 3,000 folks turned up to pay their respects.

“None of us figured that it would be as big as it was,” said Sergeant-at-Arms of American Legion Post 51 Richard Stuart. “Every veteran has the right to have a funeral like this. You’re showing honor to a veteran who has passed away.”

Some video of the event:

And a bit more from the South Bend Tribune:

Drew Mikel, of Brown Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Niles, said he was “amazed” by the turnout.

Mikel, 20, an intern at the funeral home, was put in charge of the burial. Wilson had planned for cremation and a small service for friends, with no military rites. Not far from the service site in front of the mausoleum, in fact, is Wilson’s flat headstone, set in the ground a year or more ago, with a small hole behind it freshly dug to receive his ashes.

A couple of friends suggested to Mikel that Wilson deserved military funeral honors. Mikel looked into it, and American Legion posts in Niles and Buchanan helped to coordinate.

One of Wilson’s friends, Kenny Sears, 58, of Niles, said Wilson was a proud veteran but reluctant to talk about his experience in the service.

Sears said he’s always been bothered by public scorn Vietnam veterans received when they came home.

He said the honor Wilson received Wednesday was overdue.

“If we couldn’t welcome them back,” Sears said, “maybe we can send them off.”

Well done guys.


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I hope Wong that visited the wall in washington, d.c. would contact me about James Marshall and others that died on Jan 31,1968.....such a day that turned into 3 days in one.....Another man said he goes to visit Marshall's grave....I would love a pic....not up on all the savy tech....can't afford, but I was there and would love to hear from embassy people especially....last contact with Brian, never heard anymore from marine unit... give a call or email thanks.

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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.