Vietnam veteran Glenn Cook, 70, left behind no family when he passed away in May of this year — but on Tuesday, his community came together to give him a hero’s farewell.
Cook, who served in the U.S. Army, left everything he had to the BackStoppers — an organization which, according to the website, “provides ongoing needed financial assistance and support to the spouses and dependent children of all police officers, firefighters and volunteer firefighters, and publicly-funded paramedics and EMTs in our coverage area who have lost their lives in the line of duty.”
When the BackStoppers learned that Cook had left them everything — and that he had passed away without any family — they stepped up to repay his kindness with a final farewell. Michel Funeral Home joined in the effort as well, and took care of the cremation. A service was arranged at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery where Cook would be interred with full military honors including a 9-gun salute and a bugler playing “Taps.”
“REMINDER…….. Tomorrow we are going to inter Vietnam Veteran Glenn Cook at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery at 11:30 a.m. He will receive full military honors. This veteran has no family (unclaimed veteran). If you can please try to attend these funeral services tomorrow. No veteran should be laid to rest with no one in attendance,” Michel Funeral Home put out a call to the public, asking people to take some time out of their day to pay their respects.
And the community answered the call. Dozens of cars joined a procession led by the Patriot Guard riders, waiting in the heat for nearly an hour as a prior interment ceremony finished.
Vietnam veteran Glenn Cook, 70, passed away with no surviving family. But St. Louis will not allow a hero to be buried alone. pic.twitter.com/RCNYlBkUbJ
— Virginia Kruta (@VAKruta) August 23, 2022
Three men fired three shots each, and the bugler began to play. Those gathered around placed their hands over their hearts — and veterans raised their hands to salute — as the final notes echoed around them.