No One Was Expected At This Veteran’s Funeral, But Thousands Showed Up

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When Air Force veteran Joseph Walker died, no one was expected to visit his funeral.

Walker had few family or friends near his home in Central Texas, but the veterans cemetery couldn’t stand the thought of another veteran being buried alone. So, they put out a call.

And it was answered.

A number of highly-visible tweeters worked to pass along Walker’s story. Before long, the invitation went viral.
“Air Force Veteran Joseph Walker will be laid to rest Monday, and no one is expected to attend,” Sen. Ted Cruz wrote on Twitter. “The cemetery said they do not know where his family is and they do not want him to be laid to rest alone, so they are asking the public to attend.”

Later the same day, CNN host Jake Tapper published the funeral home’s address, along with the date and time of the memorial, hoping the population of Central Texas might show their respects at the service.

And that, they did.

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A line of cars heading for the Kileen, TX, cemetery soon stretched out for miles. Some drove for hours to support and celebrate Walker’s life.

People from almost every walk of life gathered to send of the veteran. Judges, politicians, motorcycle gangs, and many, many veterans.

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Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.
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