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Group Gathers At Military Funeral For 3 They Never Met

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A group of men and women gathered at DFW National Cemetery, Friday afternoon, to say goodbye to three fallen heroes.

Not a single person in attendance even knew the men who were being remembered, but they showed up anyway.

Army veteran Gregory Pandy, Jr. was one of the three servicemen buried Friday and memorialized by strangers.  “We’ve come here to show they’re not forgotten,” said Larry Key, Assistant Deputy State Captian of the North Texas Patriot Guard Riders. “We are their family, today.”

Along with Pandy, Navy veteran Michael Vinson and Marine Wayne Hawn were remembered.

Although the three served in different branches of the military, and probably never met, they had one thing in common.  “These gentlemen were homeless in our area,” explained Key, a Vietnam veteran. “To have a veteran that has served his country to wind up on the sidewalk as a homeless man, it’s unacceptable to me.”

But the three men were given a heroes farewell, thanks to the Patriot Guard Riders and the Dignity Memorial Homeless Veterans Burial Program which provides the graveside services free of charge.  “I know that we’re doing the right thing,” said Cindy Lewis-Simpson, funeral director for Dignity Memorial in the Dallas area, “I know that they are represented and cared for today. I just wish it could have been earlier.”