PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — With Scott Township Police leading the hearse, 69-year-old William Martin Smith was carried to a full honors burial. Smith died in a Uniontown nursing home on November 1 and no family or friends came forward to claim his body.
Funeral home director John Fabry says, “to my knowledge, there hasn’t’ been anyone who has seen him, visited him in like three years.”
Fabry made a call to the military to discover Bill Smith’s military service in the Vietnam Era and that he qualified for full military honors burial.
WATCH: Unclaimed Veteran Laid To Rest At Cemetery Of The Alleghenies
VFW Post 1810’s honor guard was there to lead the flag draped casket into the pavilion for the ceremony and provide the gun salute and taps.
Since this is Veterans Day weekend Fabry wanted there to be more of an honor for Smith’s service so he contacted KDKA and the story was broadcast on both TV and Radio.
About 30 people responded to the reports and came to honor Smith including Donna Lokey of Robinson Township, “We saw it on the noon news that this gentlemen, Mr. Smith was going to be buried alone with no family and he needed family so we came to be part of his family.”
Joe Palmer and his wife made the trip from Emsworth, “We should all have somebody come when you die, he has no one.”
Scott Township police officer James Stocker stood in for the family and received the flag, “My father is a Vietnam vet who’s passed away and a lot of us have frends and family or are veterans ourselves and it means a lot of be here nad it represents something different for each of us.”
With a slight cracking in his voice Fabry thanks those who came, “I think myself and all of you have something in common today, we didn’t know Bill but we know what he stands for. He stands for our country and all the veterans.”
George Lokey put it this way, “When he was on active duty we would not have let him be alone, and we’re not going to let him be alone now in his passing.”
WATCH: Pittsburgh Prepares For Veteran’s Day Weekend Celebrations