On Saturday, Fuzzy blogged that a Texas cemetery asked the public to attend the funeral of Air Force veteran Joseph Walker out of concerns that no one will be there.

This shows the power of social media. It caught the attention of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and CNN’s Jake Tapper, who pleaded with people to attend the funeral.

It worked.

Joseph Walker “served in the Air Force from September 1964 to September 1968, including service in the Vietnam War.” He died on November 19 at the age of 72 of natural causes.

Fox News reported that “his family contacted a funeral home in Austin to arrange for a funeral service but then could not be reached.”

Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery asked people to come to the funeral via Facebook.

From The Killeen Daily Herald:

An unaccompanied burial for Air Force veteran Joseph Walker drew a large crowd to the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery this morning, causing officials to delay the start of the ceremony by more than 20 minutes.

A crowd estimated at nearly 2,000 people clogged the roads to the cemetery, causing a traffic backup along State Highway 195.

Cemetery officials had offered the possibility last week that no one would be in attendance for the burial. The Veterans Land Board, which runs the cemetery, works with the local community and fellow veterans support groups to ensure that no veteran is left behind after they pass away.

The Wind Therapy Freedom Riders also attended. Member Luis Rodriguez said, “Let’s show our respects to an American Veteran.”

From KWTX:

“This is absolutely the biggest and we want to thank the media. It’s the media that pushes it out real, real far because I was receiving calls from people all the way from Oregon,” said Douglas Gault, the chief on-site representative of the Texas State Veterans Cemetery program.

A KWTX reporter at the scene said the line to get into the cemetery was miles long and initial reports indicate some 5,000 to 6,000 vehicles were in the line.

Funeral services for unaccompanied veterans such as Walker aren’t unusual at the cemetery, but most are attended by only a handful of people.


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