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Hundreds of strangers turned up to honor a WWII Marine Raider's funeral
Last week, hundreds of people gathered in Shrub Oak, New York to attend the funeral of Robert Graham, a 97-year-old veteran who served in the Pacific as a Marine Raider during World War II. The attendees came from all across the state, many were veterans themselves, and few if any of them had ever met Graham.
But they came just the same because they heard he wouldn't have any family at his funeral, a local CBS news affiliate reported.
Graham died April 12 at Yorktown Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Yorktown reports the Associated Press. Graham's wife of 60 years, Rosie, passed away two years ago, and with no close relatives, and few friends from his Marine days left, Graham's passing may have gone unnoticed, if not for the efforts of Beth Regan.
"I was afraid the funeral was not going to be well attended," Regan, who volunteers at the nursing home where Graham lived, told CBS. "I thought there would only be a handful of people there."
When Graham passed away, she took to social media and asked for people to attend his funeral, telling CBS that she "thought there would only be a handful of people there."
Word quickly traveled and when Graham was laid to rest on April 26, his funeral included a police motorcade, an escort, and more than 200 military veterans, police, and firefighters from across the state in attendance.
According to the Associated Press, Graham fought at Guadalcanal and Bougainville as a member of the Corps' elite Marine Raiders, and earned both the Silver and Bronze star medals for his service in the Pacific. After the war, Graham returned to New York, and worked as a corrections officer.
"I just wanted to make sure people would attend," Regan told the Associated Press. "He'd be floored. He wouldn't understand why so many people are out there celebrating him."
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This article originally appeared on Military.com.
Inside Forward Operating Base Oqab in Kabul, Afghanistan stands a wall painted with a mural of an airman kneeling before a battlefield cross. Beneath it, a black gravestone bookended with flowers and dangling dog tags displays the names of eight U.S. airmen and an American contractor killed in a horrific insider attack at Kabul International Airport in 2011.
It's one of a number of such memorials ranging from plaques, murals and concrete T-walls scattered across Afghanistan. For the last eight years, those tributes have been proof to the families of the fallen that their loved ones have not been forgotten. But with a final U.S. pullout from Afghanistan possibly imminent, those families fear the combat-zone memorials may be lost for good.
After a string of high profile incidents, the commander overseeing the Navy SEALs released an all hands memo stating that the elite Naval Special Warfare community has a discipline problem, and pinned the blame on those who place loyalty to their teammates over the Navy and the nation they serve.
A group of vets are raising money to pay for a medal the Iraqi government awarded them, but never delivered
In June 2011 Iraq's defense minister announced that U.S. troops who had deployed to the country would receive the Iraq Commitment Medal in recognition of their service. Eight years later, millions of qualified veterans have yet to receive it.
The reason: The Iraqi government has so far failed to provide the medals to the Department of Defense for approval and distribution.
A small group of veterans hopes to change that.
For a cool $8.5 million, you could be the proud owner of a "fully functioning" F-16 A/B Fighting Falcon fighter jet that a South Florida company acquired from Jordan.
The combat aircraft, which can hit a top speed of 1,357 mph at 40,000 feet, isn't showroom new — it was built in 1980. But it still has a max range of 2,400 miles and an initial climb rate of 62,000 feet per minute and remains militarized, according to The Drive, an automotive website that also covers defense topics, WBDO News 96.5 reported Wednesday.