Our Military men and women go above and beyond to serve and protect Americans. We honor them with holidays and gratitude when we meet them. This same love and recognition was shown when a military man didn’t have any living family to attend his funeral. The news spread and strangers poured in to celebrate his life and recognize the hero.
Marine Corps Sgt. Leo Stokley passed away at the age of 69. He was a Vietnam veteran without any family. A funeral was planned for him despite the lack of attendance expected.
A group on Facebook heard of the upcoming service and made a ‘Call For Attendance” post on behalf of Stokley.
“We have an unclaimed veteran being buried with no family.” The post read. It continued to give details of the soldier and the details of his funeral. “Please support so he is not buried alone,” it said.
Shortly after the request was posted, people started to contact the Funeral Director with questions.
“Yesterday morning, everything changed. The phone hasn’t stopped ringing, the emails and the texts haven’t stopped since then,” said Alan Desmond of the Middle Tennessee Veteran’s Cemetery.
Nashville residents filled the seats on the day of Stokley’s funeral. Among the crowd were three women who helped to take care of him in his final stages. The ladies were so touched to see the support of people who didn’t know him.
“He was one of our sweet eaters who always wanted chocolate chess pie,” one woman reminisced.
“When you hear about a veteran, and nobody’s gonna be there, somebody’s gotta be there,” she continued. “Lots of people forget, there’s a lot of veterans that don’t have any families left. We’re all the family, we’re Americans, we’re the family.”