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A veteran died alone, so hundreds of strangers showed up to honor him at his military funeral

"This veteran has no immediate family. All are welcome to attend."

via Legacy Options

Edward Pearson was born in Pennsylvania on April 23, 1939 and he lived on a farm. He served in the U.S. Army from 1962 and 1964.

He was married once, divorced once, and had no children. He spent that last 25 years of his living in Naples, Florida where he was beloved at his local Publix grocery store.

The last few years of his life were hard for Pearson. He lived in a trailer that was damaged by Hurricane Irma in 2017. His kitchen leaked and the trailer was filled with mold.


He attempted to get it fixed through a government program called Rebuild Florida, but the repairs were delayed due to problems with the title on the trailer — there wasn't any. He had been scammed by the seller.

RELATED: He was a homeless veteran. Karis Village offered him not just a home, but a community.

A customer service representative for the Collier County Tax Collector's office shared his story on social media and people came to his aid, fixing his trailer and giving him $1600.

In July, the title on his trailer was secured, but he passed away on August 31 at the age of 80.

Legacy Options Funeral and Cremation posted a small obituary when he died, announcing his funeral will be held at Sarasota National Cemetery on Oct. 1 at 12:30 p.m. The last line said: "This veteran has no immediate family. All are welcome to attend."

News of Pearson's funeral went viral after it was shared by CNN's Jake Tapper and Florida Senator Marco Rubio.


On Tuesday, October 1, hundreds of people showed up to the Sarasota National Cemetery for his service featuring military honors, including the playing of bugle call "Taps" along with the U.S. flag folding and presentation.


People who never met Pearson spoke on his behalf. "I heard about Mr. Pearson Facebook, and that he had no family to attend his service and I thought there couldn't be a better way to spend a day then to come and honor this man," one man said.

Pearson's neighbor was able to share how he'd react to such an outpouring of love. "If Ed were here today and saw this service, he'd cry, he'd laugh and he'd salute," she said.

RELATED: Veteran with PTSD writes powerful book 'Why is Dad So Mad?' to help explain the disorder to his young daughter.

A military sergeant stood up at the podium and read poem for Pearson.

Archie Sanders came to stand up for a member of the "brotherhood."

You can watch the entire service below.






Photo by Li-An Lim on Unsplash
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