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Army vet to be buried alone Wednesday – public urged to attend

Flag-draped casket at veteran's memorial service. (Central Texas State Veteran’s Cemetery/Facebook)
February 25, 2019

A U.S. veteran with no known family has passed away, and his community is asking for the public to attend his funeral so he won’t be buried alone.

U.S. Army Spc. Hugh Gary Bryan passed away recently and authorities did not discover any next of kin to notify, so he has been declared an “Unaccompanied Veteran” with no one expected to attend his funeral, according to the Texas General Land Office.

Services for Bryan will be held Wednesday, Feb. 27, at 11:00 a.m. at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Killeen, Texas.

Texas Veterans Land Board Chairman George P. Bush said:

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Specialist Bryan is not expected to have anyone attend his funeral, as no next-of-kin could be contacted. Please help us spread the word and ensure that our United States Army Veteran is not buried alone. Members of the Central Texas community are welcome to attend.

Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery staff has coordinated with the Fort Hood Casualty Office to ensure that Specialist Bryan will receive full military honors. If no next-of-kin presents themselves at the ceremony, the On-Site Representative of the Veterans Land Board will accept the United States flag on Bryan’s behalf.

The Texas Veterans Land Board works with the local community and fellow Veterans service organizations to ensure that NO Veteran is EVER left behind. Please join us to honor his life and service with a full military burial.

Bryan served in the Army from June 20, 1955, to May 10, 1961.

“We have the distinct honor to provide a full military burial for unaccompanied U.S. Army Veteran Hugh Gary Bryan on WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery. If you have the opportunity, please come out and attend. We do NOT leave Veterans behind,” the Central Texas State Veteran’s Cemetery said in a Facebook post.

Social media posts calling for attendees have been posted hundreds of times in the few days since the services were announced. Several local veterans motorcycle groups have vowed to attend.

The local community is hoping to get news of the veteran’s funeral to go viral to replicate the response they had for another unaccompanied burial last month.

Air Force veteran Joseph Walker passed away in January at age 72 and his services – also in Killeen, Texas – were expected to be unattended due to inability to locate next of kin, KXAN had reported.

A Facebook post calling for attendees went viral, and hundreds of strangers showed up to Walker’s service. His daughter even caught news of the service and was able to attend and accept his flag.

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The Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery alone has had more than 50 unaccompanied burials.