Town Gives Veteran Who Died Alone a Heartwarming Sendoff

A 66-year-old veteran passed away with no one around to hold his hand as he took his last breath, but when the residents of the town found out, they arranged a heartwarming sendoff that left not a single dry eye.

Bradley Parker was a Navy veteran who passed away in Troy, New York with no remaining family or friends to mourn his passing and preside over his funeral. But the pastor of St. Joseph’s Church was worried that the veteran would go to his reward completely forgotten.

The message about the veteran’s funeral struck a note.

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“Thursday afternoon I received an email from our pastor telling me that a gentleman was going to be buried here through the Leahy funeral home and that he had no relatives, no friends, no body to be there.” said Paul Coffey of the Reverend Francis Kelly Society at St. Joseph’s Church, according to WRGB Albany.

From there, Coffey reached out to members of the community to come to the veteran’s funeral.

But what happened after the appeal surprised Coffey. When it came time to the funeral, more than 100 people showed up.

“I’m just delighted, from one email, that’s what’s happened on the basis of the society we built,” Coffey told the media.

The veteran received full military honors. But there was more.

“Some brought flowers, others brought prayers, and the scene was peppered with individuals in military or first responder uniforms. All brought respect and admiration for a man who served his country,” Rusty Weiss reported.

“There was a color guard, 21 gun salute, flag folding, and they played Taps

The city’s outpouring was was amazing, the news station reported.

“Bradley Parker, 66, a Navy veteran recently passed away. We are told he has no family or friends to attend his services. A letter posted to Facebook asked for those to come and pay respects,” they wrote. “Today we are his family and friends. Thank you for your service.”

Eventually, the story spread and the dead veteran’s sister heard of the passing of her bother and got in touch with those who arranged for her brother’s funeral.

“It’s just beautiful, I thank all the veterans and everyone, the fire department, I just can’t even name them all,” Nirsberger said according to the local news station. “This is overwhelming, it’s overwhelming for me, and I thank you all, I really do from the bottom of my heart. He was a good guy, my brother.”

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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