KEITHVILLE, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A military veteran was laid to rest with full honors with none of his family present the community showed up to stand in as his family so that he would not be buried alone.
The mission is to honor every American service member who has passed away.
That mission was underway at the Northwest Louisiana Veterans Cemetery in Keithville, where an unaccompanied veteran is laid to rest. The director Don Howard said the mission would continue until every fallen vet receives the recognition they deserve.
“I think it is always appropriate that we honor our veterans for their service to our nation,” Howard said.
The community honored Corporal Tommy Patrick Turner, a Marine who served in Vietnam. He passed away at 75, but without any family present despite efforts to find them by the Veterans Service Office.
A community call to action was made to attend his funeral, and more than 100 people showed up to see this warrior off.
“Every time we put in a call, the Arklatex shows up,” Howard said.
Corporal Turner was a Purple Heart recipient. Without his biological family present, his American flag was presented to and preserved by the Marine Corps League.
“We are his family, and we will never leave a marine or any other service member behind. We will forever honor their service and their sacrifice,” Lee A. Jeter Sr., Marine Corp League, said.
Their message is that no veteran should be buried alone. No matter where they are, if they served their country, they will receive full military honors fitting an American servicemember.