Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
‘Large Turnout’ Expected After Appeal To Attend Texas Veteran’s Funeral Goes Viral
No one was going to be at Air Force veteran Joseph Walker's funeral on Monday, but after an appeal for people to attend went viral, Walker will not be alone when he is laid to rest.
The Texas Veterans Land Board alerted the media on Thursday asking people to attend the funeral for Walker, who served in the Air Force from 1964 and 1968. Since then, a story by KVUE in Austin has been retweeted by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), CNN's Jake Tapper, the American Legion, and others.
"We are expecting a large turnout now for Mr. Walker's funeral due to the social media post that were put out in his name and extensively shared," said Karina Erickson, a spokeswoman for the Texas General Land Office.
The appeal to the public to attend Walker's funeral is part of the Unaccompanied Veteran Burial program, which was launched by Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush in January 2015, Erickson told Task & Purpose. Bush – the son of Jeb Bush and a military veteran – is also chairman of the Texas Veterans Land Board.
Before the program was started, veterans could be buried in pauper's graves if no one attended their funerals, Erickson said. Now state officials make sure to alert the media whenever a veteran's next of kin or other direct witnesses cannot attend their funeral for whatever reason.
In a statement to Task & Purpose, Texas State Veterans Cemetery Deputy Director Eric Brown said he was recently asked why a community would honor someone whom they never knew.
"My response was swift and simple: The veteran likely didn't know the community members in attendance either, but they were willing to put their lives on the line for the attendees, in defense of our nation, and our nation's interests," Brown said in the statement.
"When veterans raise their right hands during the oath, it's not in defense of any one individual. "They raise their right hands in defense of a principle and way of life. It is for this some reason that the communities come out to honor the veteran. The communities are honoring those that proudly served, our nations principles, way of life, and the best in each of us as Americans."
WATCH NEXT: Nine Line Foundation Is Building A Village Of Tiny Homes For Homeless Vets
The decorated Marine pilot whose heroics helped stop the 1973 New Orleans sniper attack has died at 84
The decorated U.S. Marine Corps pilot who risked his life and military career to help New Orleans police halt the Howard Johnson's hotel sniper attack that shattered the quiet of a Sunday morning and claimed seven lives in 1973 died Feb. 13 following a lengthy battle with cancer, according to his family.
Retired Lt. Gen. Charles "Chuck" Pitman Sr., whose heroics against Mark Essex that day earned him the eternal gratitude of city leaders and first responders, was 84.
The U.S. government failed to effectively account for nearly $715.8 million in weapons and equipment allocated to Syrian partners as part of the multinational counter-ISIS fight, according to a new report from the Defense Department inspector general.
On Feb. 19, 1945, more than 70,000 U.S. Marines conducted an amphibious assault to take the Island of Iwo Jima from fortified Japanese forces. Over the next 36 days nearly 7,000 Marines would be killed during the battle, which is regarded as one of the bloodiest of World War II, as they faced hidden enemy artillery, machine guns, vast bunker systems and underground tunnels. Of the 82 Marines who earned the Medal of Honor during all of World War II, 22 medals were earned for actions on Iwo Jima.
Now, 75 years later, 28 Marines and Sailors who fought on Iwo Jima gathered to remember the battle at the 75th and final commemoration sunset ceremony Feb. 15, 2020, at the Pacific Views Event Center on Camp Pendleton, California.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), has long been seen as an apologist for Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, whom she met during a secret trip to Damascus in January 2017.
Most recently, a video was posted on Twitter shows Gabbard evading a question about whether Assad is a war criminal.
Since Gabbard is the only actively serving member of the military who is running for president — she is a major in the Hawaii Army National Guard — Task & Purpose sought to clarify whether she believes Assad has used chlorine gas and chemical weapons to kill his own people.
The Army is almost doubling its purchase of new bolt-action Precision Sniper Rifles as its primary anti-personnel sniper system of choice, according to budget documents.