(VIDEO) A Minnesota City Steps Up to Honor a Veteran Who Died With No Family or Friends to Mourn Him


A crowd of strangers stood in for friends and family at a funeral for a Vietnam veteran who died alone in his apartment in Winona, Minnesota.

Richard Rhodes, 73, passed away just a week before Christmas without a will or anyone to mourn him.

In an act of care by the community, a local funeral home prepared Rhodes’ body and put in their best effort to send the veteran off with a proper burial.

Funeral home directer Brittany Horton spread the message to local veterans in hopes that they would help honor a fellow soldier who had died quietly at home. Horton told Minneapolis ABC affiliate KSTP:

“It just goes to show how important things like this are. People don’t want to be forgotten and I think based on the people here today I don’t think he will be forgotten.”

In an amazing act of care and kindness, over a hundred people – strangers who never met him in life – showed up to send Rhodes off with full military honors.

54bd92d0d8b11.imagePhoto provided by the Winona Daily News.

Local pastor Rick Iglesias, who attended the funeral, also had this to say about Rhodes:

‘He was not a number, but a man. Not a stranger, but a son. His family is lost to us, as he was lost to them.’

In the true spirit of community, the city of Winona treated a lonely veteran with the respect that he deserved and did not allow him to be laid to rest alone.

—Courtesy of IJ Review

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