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TN funeral home asks public to attend unclaimed veteran’s funeral today

Airman 1st Class Brittany White, of the Eglin Honor Guard, holds her bugle prior to a military funeral performance at the honor guard graduation at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)
September 19, 2019

A Tennessee funeral home is calling on the public to fill the seats at a funeral for a United States Air Force veteran who has no surviving friends or family.

Gateway Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Clarksville posted a request on Facebook, asking people to attend the service for Lyndon Badgett, who passed away at Tennova Healthcare, News Channel 5 Nashville reported.

The service for Badgett, who resided at the Tennessee State Veterans’ Home in Clarksville, began on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. CST at the Middle Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery in Nashville. Services will conclude at 4:00 p.m. CST.

The U.S. Air Force and the Patriot Guard will be present. Sheriff’s Deputies will escort the Badgett’s body to the cemetery.

Gateway Funeral Home Director Wade Winkler said, “It’s a sad thing when folks pass away and there’s no one around and no one that cares for them.”

The funeral home has searched for family or friends of Sargent Badgett, but to no avail.

“It means a lot to have served and we want to honor those people,” Winkler said.

Gateway Funeral Home says is covering all expenses for the funeral and Badgett will be given military honors provided by the U.S. Air Force and the Patriot Guard, according to Fox 17 News.

In the Facebook post, the funeral home said, “Funeral Directors witness many sad occasions as they serve families in their time of grief. Among those sad situations are those people who have no family or friends,” according to Newsner.

In response to the Facebook post, Winkler said, “It’s been a little overwhelming.” He added that his phone has been “ringing non-stop” and that people from across the U.S. have shown support.

The funeral home added, “While we do not know the story behind this individual or the events that brought him to this ending of his life, we do know that he served his country and he deserves an honorable burial.”

What is known about Sargent Badgett, is that he served in the U.S. Air Force and Air Force Reserve from 1981 to 1997, Newsner reported.

Badgett received multiple awards, including the NCO Professional Military Education Ribbon, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, and Kuwait Liberation Medal.