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Veterans hold military funeral for soldier who had no family

By Samiar Nefzi

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    BLACK MOUNTAIN, North Carolina (WLOS) — Several Haywood County Veterans banded together to lay a soldier to rest.

“It’s sombering,” Paul Taylor, adjutant of Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter 90, said.

Last week, U.S. Veteran Thomas Chapman passed away at the V.A. Hospital in Asheville. His body was unclaimed by his family.

“In the military, we provided for each other,” Taylor said. “We were the backstop for each other.”

Chapman was unknown to DAV Chapter 89 or the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). However, several members stepped up to give Chapman a military funeral.

“I feel sorry for him that he didn’t have family, but it makes me feel honor that I’m able to give him honor on his way out,” Taylor explained.

The funeral took place Friday, Jan 20, at the State’s Veteran’s Cemetery in Black Mountain.

“We look out for each other,” said Honor Guard Captain of Haywood County, Rick Strubeck. “We try to make sure all the veterans get what they deserve.”

DAV decided to donate the flag draped over Chapman’s coffin to the cemetery for other families to use.

“It’s an honor to be able to do this thing,” said Taylor.

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