A funeral home in Texas was worried an Air Force veteran wasn’t going to have anyone show up for his funeral, but thousands of strangers came to make sure that didn’t happen. Joseph Walker was born in 1946, served his country during the Vietnam War, and passed away on November 19th, 2018. All Faiths Funeral Home in Austin took care of him, but they were unable to reach his family again to proceed, so they decided to give him the closure he deserves anyway.
Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery put out a simple request in a Facebook post, asking people to attend and show their support at the full military burial for Walker. “We do NOT leave Veterans behind,” they wrote. And word spread quickly, with everyone from politicians including Ted Cruz and journalist Jake Tapper encouraging folks to come out.
So many people showed up that cars were backed up onto a nearby highway and the ceremony started late to let everyone get settled. Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody estimates there were 5,000 people - who had never had the pleasure of meeting Walker - there to honor him.
To attendees like Williamson County sheriff’s office Sergeant Marco A. Gomez, the decision to be there was simple. He says he went to make sure Walker knew there was someone thankful for his service, adding, “Anyone who signs that blank check for us deserves it.”