Hundreds Attend Funeral Honoring ‘Abandoned’ Vietnam Veteran

Purple Heart Medal
AP/Danny Johnston

Hundreds of strangers gathered at a church in Indianapolis, Indiana, Saturday to honor a Vietnam veteran with no known living relatives.

Glenn Shelton, 68, who had a storied career with the Marines during the Vietnam War and earned a Purple Heart while serving with them, died November 26, according to his obituary.

Indiana Funeral Care organized Saturday’s service and advertised it on social media. The event grew so popular the organizers had to move the ceremony to a larger venue.

“We don’t know anything about him, so it’s just rewarding that they can still find time to come out and pay their respects,” Sara Thompson, Indiana Funeral Care General Manager, told WXIN. “Glenn might have been abandoned in life, but he will not be abandoned in death.”

Attendees of the ceremony also received a special surprise—a dog tag engraved with Shelton’s name.

“It’s just absolutely wonderful,” Russell Pryor, commander for the VFW District 11, told WXIN. “It shows me that no matter when you served, who you served with or where you served, we’re here to support you.”

After the funeral service, Shelton’s burial ceremony took place at Indiana Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Madison, about 48 miles away from Louisville.

Shelton also received well-wishes from people who commented on his online obituary, with many paying their respects and thanking the veteran for his service.


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