Hundreds came for funeral of US war veteran with no family
Hundreds of concerned Americans gathered at the funeral of a ‘complete stranger’ on Friday, after word got out that a fallen U.S. Airforce veteran had no immediate family member to attend his service.
Citing earlier reports from 9news Tulsa, former Tinker Airman Mark Wayne Howell, 55, passed away at his Oklahoma City home last month.
His remains, however, were left unclaimed for quite sometime, which urged the local funeral parlor, OK Cremation and Funeral Home, LLC, to post a heartfelt message on social media.
“We would like to invite anyone to join us in honoring this veteran for his service to his country,” the funeral home wrote on Facebook.
The touching invitation soon went viral, which eventually reached the retired army-themed FB page ‘Awesome Sh*t My Drill Sergeant Says’ (ASMDSS).
The group reportedly urged its over one million followers to “make sure that service is overflowing with troops and veterans to give our brother a proper send off.”
“No veteran should be laid to rest alone, so we want to make sure we PACK THAT SERVICE with his brothers and sisters in arms for a final send off. Dust of the dress uniforms, come in duty uniform if that is all you have and of course all veterans can wear what they want,” ASMDSS wrote on their website.
The call proved successful, as several military veteran groups, including other concerned civilians, packed the small venue in Fort Sill National Cemetery in Oklahoma to pay homage to their fallen comrade.
“You see a lot of great patriots here, great Americans to send this guy off,” said Scotty Deatherage from the group ’Honoring America’s Warriors’. “Nobody probably knew this guy personally, never met him before”.
Howell was also awarded with full military honors for his services. Khristian Ibarrola