Marine Corps Sgt Leo Stokley passed away and left no biological family. The 69-year-old veteran fought in Vietnam at the start of his career.
The local funeral director in Tennessee set up burial plans for Sgt. Leo Stockley for the little number of people that he had expected to attend- given his lack of biological family.
However, no-one could predict the amount of love and respect that the veteran had at the Middle Tennessee Veterans Cemetery on the 9th of November of this year.
Two days following announcing the burial service, many people began to contact the funeral home and informing them that they would be attending the funeral to honour Sgt Stockley.
The reason behind the increased attendance was due to posts published by the U.S Army WTF Moments Facebook group which asked people to ensure that the respected veteran was not buried alone.
“Yesterday morning, everything changed,” Funeral Director Alan Desmond informed WKRN. “The phone hasn’t stopped ringing, the emails and the texts haven’t stopped since then.”
On the Friday which was the day of the funeral, a large crowd of attendees came to present their honour for the brave Sgt.
Amongst the massive crowd were three women who were taking care of Stokley in the last months of his life.
They are Tea Gray, Samantha Anderson and Cay Cross who consider themselves to be his family. They were overwhelmed with happiness to hear that so many people had come to attend the funeral.
Gray told the WSMV, that “he was one of our sweet eaters who always wanted chocolate chess pie.”
Another attendee was local resident Kay-Lynn Carew who said that she head of the funeral by her daughter and was determined to attend.
Carew said that “when you hear about a veteran, and nobody’s gonna be there, somebody’s gotta be there.”
She went on to say that “lots of people forget, there’s a lot of veterans that don’t have any families left. We’re all the family, we’re Americans, we’re the family.”
Rest in peace Sgt Stokley