‘Large Turnout’ Expected After Appeal To Attend Texas Veteran’s Funeral Goes Viral

Community
DoD photo

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."

SEE ALSO: Hundreds Of Strangers Attend Funerals For Veterans Who Died Alone

WATCH NEXT: Nine Line Foundation Is Building A Village Of Tiny Homes For Homeless Vets

Editor's Note: This article by Patricia Kime originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the Defense Department's authority to prosecute retired service members for crimes they commit, even after retirement.

The court on Tuesday chose not to hear the case of a retired Marine who was court-martialed for a sexual assault he committed three months after leaving the service in August 2015. By not accepting the case, Larrabee v. the United States, the court upheld the status quo: that military retirees are subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Read More Show Less
A formation of U.S. Army soldiers with III Corps and Fort Hood honor the American flag as they lower it during the Retreat ceremony March 27, 2014. Retreat is conducted at the end of the day, every day, to honor the flag, which is raised during the Reveille ceremony each morning. All activity on the base stops for the duration of both ceremonies as soldiers pause, face the flag, and salute. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Ken Scar, 7th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Ken Scar)

Soldiers and their spouses told Fort Hood brass and housing officials Thursday night about horrific conditions inside on-post housing, ranging from blooms of mold and lead paint to infestations of snakes and cockroaches and dangerously faulty window screens.

Read More Show Less
c1.staticflickr.com

When President Trump spoke of Islamic State last week, he described the group as all but defeated, even in the digital realm.

"For a period of time, they used the internet better than we did. They used the internet brilliantly, but now it's not so brilliant," the president said. "And now the people on the internet that used to look up to them and say how wonderful and brilliant they are are not thinking of them as being so brilliant."

Read More Show Less
Staff Sgt. Stevon A. Booker, a 3rd Infantry Division Soldier who was assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment and killed in action in Iraq in 2003, is depicted in a photo illustration alongside the Distinguished Service Cross medal, which he is slated to posthumously receive for his heroic actions during Operation Iraqi Freedom, April 5, 2018, in Pittsburgh, Pa. (U.S. Army)

Editor's Note: This article by Matthew Cox originally appeared onMilitary.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

The U.S. Army has announced it will upgrade a former 3rd Infantry Division soldier's Silver Star to a Distinguished Service Cross for his bravery during the unit's "Thunder Run" attack on Baghdad, Iraq, in 2003.

Read More Show Less
KCNA

HANOI (Reuters) - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un told the U.S. secretary of state he did not want his children to live with the burden of nuclear weapons, a former CIA officer involved in high-level diplomacy over the North's weapons was quoted as saying on Saturday.

Read More Show Less