Veteran homelessness is a huge problem in our great country. It is truly terrible that after all these brave men and women have done for us, they find themselves without a roof over their heads. What’s really sad, though, is that sometimes these homeless veterans don’t have any living relatives when they pass away, and, subsequently, have no one to attend their funerals.
One veteran, Jerry Billings, passed away on Christmas Eve at the age of 69. Though the Oklahoma County Social Services attempted to contact any family members, they were sadly unsuccessful. Rather than giving up, one employee, Christine Hoffman, contacted the Dignity Memorial Veterans Burial Program. Through that organization, word got out fast about Mr. Billings’ passing and his funeral.
Numerous websites and social media pages shared the story, and it quickly went viral. When it came time for Mr. Billings’ memorial service, what happened was moving for all those in attendance, as well as for those like myself, who read about the story online.
Hundreds of people showed up to pay their respects. The chapel where the service was held was at capacity. Veterans and active duty service members in uniform stood outside the chapel while a 21-gun salute was fired in honor of Mr. Billings. An American flag was folded, presented to Patriot Guard Riders who will be escorting Mr. Billings’ body to Fort Sill National Cemetery, and was taken to burial today.
Let me just say that I am extremely proud of all that was done for this man. I don’t know anything about him. I don’t know what he did with his life. All I know is that he honorably served our nation. For that, he deserves the highest respect, and I’m glad to see that he received just that.
In a time when we see videos on the news of American citizens trampling their own flag, it’s good to see that some people out there are still doing the right thing and honoring our nation’s veterans..
[via News 9]