Serina Vine received the funeral she deserved and laid to rest with full military honors.
Over 200 people attended WWII veteran Serina Vine’s funeral after word spread on social media she did not have any living relatives.
Vine passed away on May 21 at the Community Living Center in DC. Only a few people planned to attend the funeral, but that changed when Army Mj. Jaspen Boothe received a message on Facebook and retired Marine William Jones organized the funeral:
Army Maj. Jaspen Boothe, who addressed the crowd in a dress and combat boots, said she received a Facebook message Friday stating just four people had RSVP’d for the funeral. So she reached out to various organizations to tell them about the woman she described as homeless but not hopeless.
She said Vine was her sister because both swore to defend the Constitution.
“We are all a testament to what we do when we are called to honor our fellow brothers and sisters,” said Boothe. She is president of the nonprofit Final Salute Inc., which assists homeless female veterans. Boothe, who is now in the Army Reserve, said she was homeless for about a year in 2006.
Retired Marine William Jones of Spotsylvania County organized the funeral after receiving a call on Friday from Katie Bryan, who works with him at Marine Corps Base Quantico and oversaw Vine’s finances as her legal custodian. Jones originally expected to be one of only four attendees.
“I said to myself: unacceptable,” Jones told the crowd. He echoed a message from Boothe, saying she told him: “We serve together, so therefore we should not die alone.”
The posts went viral and over 200 people showed up to honor a woman who served her country:
When Boothe arrived at the cemetery, she was astonished. “I thought they had three or four things going on,” she said of the crowd gathered at the cemetery, at first not believing it was all for Vine. “Now she has 200 known family and friends in the area.”
Boothe said she did not want people to remember Vine as just homeless. “She was an educated woman, she loved to dance and go to church on Sundays.”
Jones’s Quantico colleague Dwight Michael “delivered a rousing eulogy. Turns out Vine “graduated from the University of California in 1954, a time when ‘higher education wasn’t an expectation for most women.'” She also spoke three languages and loved dressing up for church on Sundays.DONATE
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