Hundreds Attend Funeral of Veteran With No Family

'We serve together, so therefore we should not die alone'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 9, 2016 6:20 PM CDT
Hundreds Attend Funeral of Veteran With No Family
Pastor Dwight Micheal, from Spotsylvania's Piney Branch Baptist Church, delivers a eulogy during the memorial service for World War II veteran Serina Vine Tuesday, June 7, 2016, at Quantico National Cemetery in Quantico, Va.   (Dave Ellis/The Free Lance-Star via AP)

When Army Maj. Jaspen Boothe heard about Serina Vine, she knew she had to do something. Vine, a veteran of World War II, died May 21 at age 91 with no known surviving family. Boothe learned that there were only going to be four people attending Vine's funeral service at Virginia's Quantico National Cemetery, and "that didn't sit right with me," she tells ABC News. So she worked on getting the word out on Facebook, with posts urging locals to attend the Tuesday service or send friends in the area to attend. About 200 people ended up attending, including a group of motorcyclists who served in the military and other retired and active-duty service members, the Free Lance-Star reports.

Boothe was moved when she got to the cemetery and saw the response: "Now she has 200 known family and friends in the area," she says. Adds the retired Marine who organized the funeral and also helped get the word out, "We serve together, so therefore we should not die alone." Vine, who graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, and worked in radio intelligence while serving in the Navy from 1944 to 1946, was homeless before moving into the Washington, DC, VA hospital, where she lived for two decades before her death. Boothe, who was also once homeless, says there was more to Vine than just that fact: "She was an educated woman," she says of Vine, who spoke three languages. "She loved to dance and go to church on Sundays." (More uplifting news stories.)

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