Three hundred people attended the funeral of a U.S. Marine veteran when it was discovered he reportedly had no family.
Leo Stokley, 69, a Vietnam veteran in Tennessee, died on Nov. 4 and reportedly had no family, according to Nashville, Tenn., TV station WTVF. However, a Facebook invitation by the group U.S. Army W.T.F! Moments, a news source for the military community, resulted in around 300 strangers showing up at his funeral on Friday.
“We have an unclaimed veteran being buried with no family,” according to the Nov. 7 post. “Leo Stokley, 69, of Murfreesboro, TN passed away on Sunday, November 4, 2018, at the Waters of Cheatham in Ashland City. Leo served his country in the United States Marine Corps and did a tour of duty in Vietnam. Leo will be buried with Military Honors on Friday, November 9, 2018, at the Middle Tennessee Veteran’s Cemetery in Nashville, TN at 10:00 am. Please support so he is not buried alone.”
A Facebook follower volunteered to drive several hours to attend services, and people commented, “You will not be sent off alone brother,” and “I just had a port put in and a feeding tube put in my stomach, my wife and I will definitely be there.” There were also offers to start a carpool to the funeral.
A spokesperson for U.S. Army W.T.F! Moments did not return Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comments.
“You start at the first of the week, nobody knows who this guy is, and you end up with a family of probably 300 people here, fellow veterans and friends of veterans, that sent him off in proper fashion,” U.S. Air Force veteran Bob Counter told WTVF.
Another funeral attendee told WTVF, “We’re all brothers. It doesn’t matter what war, we’re brothers. World War I, II, Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam, it doesn’t matter.”
Counter, who provided Stokley’s military discharge certificate to the funeral home, also told WTVF, “It’s very heartwarming to see this many veterans and friends of veterans that show up here on a cold, rainy day, a weekday, to send him off in style. I’m proud for that. I’m proud for these guys that did that.”
Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:
- Firefighter’s prescient goodbye letter is read at his funeral: ‘Now I’m a free spirit’
- Bride of fallen firefighter takes wedding photos alone to honor late husband
- Little sister of fallen deputy Mark Stasyuk is welcomed back to school by dozens of police officers