Nearly 1,000 strangers showed up to a homeless veteran’s funeral in Oklahoma City after it was discovered that he had passed away with no family to claim his remains.
Christine Hoffman, who works for the city, took it upon herself to find out more about the late veteran Jerry Billings.
“I’ve done other funerals, and I’m like the only one that was there,” Hoffman told KFOR.
She discovered that Billings had been a U.S. Navy aviation machinist airman who served in the 1960s. After sharing the information on social media sites, Hoffman attracted quite the crowd at Billings’ funeral.
More than 750 people from military men and women to first responders and bikers showed up to the funeral.
“This was just amazing. Absolutely amazing,” Hoffman said. “My heart is swollen.”
The Dignity Memorial Network, a program that provides burial services to homeless veterans, helped with the service. According to Jared Newman, a DMN employee, the organization aims to honor those homeless veterans whose names have been forgotten.
Photo Credit: KFOR, KOAA