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No one was expected to attend Texas veteran’s funeral today, now cemetery expects a big turnout

Junie Sihlangu
Jan 28, 2019
06:52 A.M.
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Not wanting a fallen military veteran to have no one attend his funeral, The Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Killeen, Texas, made a heartfelt plea on Facebook.

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On Thursday, the cemetery asked people to attend Air Force veteran Joseph Walker’s service on Monday. A number of people who saw the post revealed that they would answer the call.

Joseph Walker is an army veteran who served in the Air Force from September 1964 to 1968 September. After finding no family members for Walker, The Central Texas State Veteran's Cemetery approached strangers on Facebook to ask them to come to the vet’s funeral.

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Their post read:

“We have the distinct honor to provide a full military burial for unaccompanied United States Air Force Veteran Joseph Walker on Monday, January 28, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. at Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery. If you have the opportunity, please come out and attend. We do NOT leave Veterans behind.”

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A number of people responded to the post sharing that they would attend. The Wind Therapy Freedom Riders also revealed that they would be meeting at a restaurant before making their way to the funeral.

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A local newspaper noted:

“If no next of kin presents themselves at the ceremony, the on-site representative of the Veterans Land Board will accept the United States flag on Walker’s behalf, according to the Veterans Land Board, which runs the cemetery.”

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Walker passed away in November. After the plea for attendance was made the Texas General Land Office communications director Karina Erickson said: "It's very safe to say that the response has been absolutely overwhelming for us.”

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She added, "It's been a mission of ours to get these to go viral so we can get these veterans the respect they truly deserve.” The communications director also noted that CNN anchor and Washington correspondent Jake Tapper had shared their plea on Saturday night.

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Tapper’s tweet was retweeted many times. The service will begin at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery, 11463 State Highway 195, Killeen, TX 76542 for those who wish to attend.

Brigadier General Wilma Vaught served in the Vietnam War on October 1968 and retired from the army in 1985. She has since spent the past 30 years fighting to get the achievements of her fellow female veterans recognized.

Vaught runs the Women in Military Service for America Memorial, a museum-style memorial on the outskirts of Arlington National Cemetery.

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