MEMPHIS, Tenn.— Strangers gathered together at the West Tennessee Veterans Cemetery to pay their respects to an unclaimed veteran Wednesday afternoon.
“We just know he was a veteran and that he’s passed with no one here,” Pete Thedford of the Patriot Guard Riders told WREG.
Navy veteran Robert L. Kemp died in a hospital in Memphis earlier this month, but no one could find his family.
A group of strangers stepped in to be his family and pallbearers.
“No veteran should be buried without a family, so we’re the veteran’s family,” Thedford said.
Dozens more filed into the chapel at the cemetery to honor Kemp and his service.
“I love my country. I can’t let someone not be here for him,” said Sue Giannini full of tears.
Everyone sat somber. They were quiet as tears trickled down their faces.
On the battlefield or back home. It goes without saying. No soldier is left behind.