CORPUS CHRISTI (KIII NEWS) - The Coastal Bend State Veterans Cemetery hosted two funerals Wednesday for veterans who had no known family members who were able to attend.
Thankfully, however, Coastal Bend residents turned up to pay their respects.
Hospital Corpsman Glade Schultz and Army Cpl. Howard Lyman were both honored Wednesday morning.
"Previously, unaccompanied veterans were just brought to the cemetery and interred," said Erik Brown, deputy director of Texas State Veterans Cemeteries. "With no witnesses, no military honors, no dignity."
While their families were not there physically, hundreds of people they may have never known were.
Some, like Marcus, didn't even know the two veterans.
"No sir," Marcus said. "No sir. It's just a fellow brethren and they've gone home."
The same goes for veteran Danny Carrier.
"No, no I didn't know these guys at all," Carrier said.
The stories about why they attended were as varied as those who make up our armed services.
"My husband is here too, and my son," one guest told 3News. "Her husband is in the Navy, too, so that's why we like to join with them. We're happy to do it. And my father-in-law is buried here, too."
"This was going on so we decided to stop by," Sofia Tamez said. "They had no family so, pobrecitos."
The Veterans Land Board, the folks who run the cemetery, work with local veteran groups to make sure fellow veterans are never left behind after they pass.
"Keep in mind, when the individual raises their hand to defend this country, they don't know us either, but they're willing to put their life on the line for something greater than themselves," Brown said.
The ceremonies, while brief, had all the meaningful tributes one expects in a full military burial with honors, making sure Corpsman Shultz' and Cpl. Lyman's service will never be forgotten.
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