The Coastal Bend community said goodbye Monday to a hero they never knew.

Patriot Guard Riders, area veterans and members of the community gathered at the Coastal Bend State Veterans Cemetery to say their final goodbyes to U.S. Army Vietnam veteran Gerald Yates.

Yates had no known family members to attend his funeral. However, the Veterans Land Board, who run the cemetery, work with area veteran's groups to make sure fellow veterans are never left behind after they pass.

"Ever since I came back from Vietnam, I always told myself I'm going to honor every single soldier that ever leaves this place or comes back from overseas," Patriot Guard Rider Captain Richard Butler said. "As you know, Vietnam was a very bad place, so it's my honor to be here."

Yates served in the U.S. Army from 1963-65 and attained the rank of Private First Class.

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