Unaccompanied military veteran receives fitting sendoff

As everyone returns to work after the Memorial Day weekend, I just wanted to start off the week with a short update to a story we covered on Saturday. As you may recall, Korean War veteran Hezekiah Perkins passed away at age 90 without any immediate family in Cincinnati to see him off. We were only one of many outlets reaching out to the public to see if people might be available to show up at the cemetery on Saturday to provide him with a fitting farewell. When the time came, the community did not disappoint. Rather than being laid to rest alone, literally thousands of people showed up to pay their respects as Perkins was sent to his final reward with full military honors. As Doug Mataconis points out at Outside the Beltway, the veterans, in particular, made sure this was done correctly.

I’m happy to say that all the attention paid off, and Mr. Perkins did not leave this world alone:

Thousands of strangers attended a funeral Saturday for a 90-year-old veteran after learning no family could attend.

Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati, Ohio, posted on Friday asking people to come to the funeral for Korean War veteran Hezekiah Perkins…

“Thank you to the thousands of patriotic citizens who came to pay tribute to Veteran Perkins today. We are humbled by the turnout and so very proud of our Spring Grove Family and especially our community,” the cemetery’s page posted after the service.

Here’s one of the more inspirational photos posted to Facebook. (Click for full size image.)

Mr. Perkins lived a long, full life after serving his country in battle. This is a reminder that the military is a community that continues to support their own long after one’s service on active duty has ended. And the size of this turnout is a pleasant indication that the civilian community continues to respect those who serve. Rest in peace, Mr. Perkins, and thank you again for your service.