What happens when no family members stepped forward to make funeral arrangements for a veteran? The local community stepped up and gave this military veteran a funeral service he deserved.
Billy C. Aldridge, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, died at a local nursing facility in Indianapolis. The nursing home had no records of any family for Aldridge, so they turned to a local funeral services company for help with burial arrangements.
What they got instead was a pleasant surprise.
According to a FOX59 report, Legacy Cremation & Funeral Services planned a small ceremony, but word got out, and it quickly turned into a drastically larger memorial service.
How big? More than 1,000 strangers showed up to honor and say goodbye to a veteran that they did not know.
“This was just unbelievably wonderful,” said Tim Elson, a Vietnam Veteran, “That the community would come together and remember a fellow veteran, not knowing him, not knowing anything about him.”
Veterans groups, Private Label Caskets, Memorial Park Cemetery and Indy Metropolitan Military Honor Guard also stepped up to give Aldridge a dignified sendoff.
“We just had a tremendous turnout, from veterans service organizations, active duty military, from every branch, as well as just members of the community who wanted to make sure this veteran was recognized,” said Eddie Beagles, Vice President of Funeral Operations, with Legacy Cremation & Funeral Services, “I couldn’t be more proud today to be a Hoosier, just to see the average neighbor that's here to recognize this gentleman. It just shows that Hoosier hospitality is alive and well."
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