Veteran With No Known Family Honored at His Funeral by Hundreds of Community Members.

Veteran With No Known Family Honored at His Funeral by Hundreds of Community Members.

November 7, 2023 by Cathy Stack

Elgin, Oklahoma - Veteran Corporal Charles York served his country in both the Navy and Marine Corp. When he recently passed away with no living relatives, the VA hospital staff were concerned that few would attend his funeral. So, they put out the call on social media to connect with their local community to request support for Charles to give him a proper tribute. Community members answered the call in a big way. Hundreds came out to honor Charles and show their respect for his lifelong military service to our nation.

Charles York was laid to rest in Fort Sill National cemetery in Elgin, Oklahoma. The service was comprised of veterans, active-duty servicemen and women as well as a great number of local community members. Charles York’s funeral included full military honors. “Taps,” was beautifully played on the bagpipes. The presentation of the 13 folds of the American flag was performed. Flags waved as hundreds of community members lined up to lay flowers upon York’s casket. The service comforted all those who attended knowing our heroes will not be forgotten.

“I walked up, and it felt good. Felt good to see that the community was able to come out and support a fellow soldier. It brought tears to my eyes,” shared a proud veteran.

“It's heart-touching.” shared Billy Hope, one of the many veterans who attended the memorial service.

“I'd like to think he's kind of down there smiling down on all of us. He's getting the attention he should have always gotten as a veteran who served this country," he added.

The Fort Sill National Cemetery is on a 391-acre land that was dedicated in 2001 to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. To date, they have conducted more than 8,000 funeral services for veterans who pass away with no known or living relatives. They work to ensure that no veteran is laid to rest alone. It is a respectful way to honor the military oath of, “leaving no man behind.”

The Foundation for a Better Life and PassItOn believe that the Oklahoma community members who attended Corporal Charles York’s funeral are heroes. Their action is a perfect example of the value of community. Community members understood the importance of showing honor and gratitude to the sacrifice of all servicemen and women, past and current. They knew it was simply the right thing to do. Help us celebrate them by sharing their story.

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