Still, it must be told.
His name was Gene Baker, but that wasn’t mentioned at first.
All that was mentioned was that another veteran had outlived the people he shared life with and had died without friends or family.
There would be a service if anyone wanted to attend.
Here in the valley about ten veterans a month die without friends or family and are remembered in empty chapels by someone who neither knew nor loved them, then quietly buried.
It’s not the lonely funeral that is tragic to me, it is the lonely life before the funeral that is.
Gene Baker died alone, but he would not be alone much longer.
The death notice was posted online and Southern Oregon chose to honor the life and service of a man none of us knew.
His memorial service had a color guard, a flyover, and 300 people showed their respect by attending.
One of the local tv stations broadcast it live online.
God bless our valley…
We made much of Mr. Baker after he died…perhaps he will inspire us in death to make much of the rest of our veterans while they can appreciate it.
Maybe there is an application after all…