ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – An Abilene man is encouraging the community to attend a fellow veteran’s funeral after befriending him about a month ago.
About three weeks ago, veteran Gary Flores met his new close friend and fellow veteran Michael Scott Powell while they were both receiving treatment for PTSD in Lubbock.
“I took a liking to him immediately, and we just immediately became friends,” says Flores.
Flores says Powell reminded him of his grandfather, who passed away when he was 9 years old.
“He was very friendly with everybody, he was always cracking jokes and just making light of his situation,” Flores says about Powell.
In those three weeks, Flores says Powell left a big impact on his life. Powell’s younger sister Laurie says she is grateful for the bond that her brother and Flores shared.
“It was kind of like he was taking care of my brother for me because I couldn’t do it and that impresses me,” says Laurie.
While cleaning out Powell’s apartment, Laurie says she’s overwhelmed and in awe because this is the first time her immediate family has had to plan a funeral.
“I miss him already of course, and I just have to believe that he’s in a better place,” she says.
Flores has only ever spoken with Laurie on the phone, but says that “she’s eager to see how many veterans and how much of the community really support their veterans, and just to show the love and support for him.”
As they both plan to lay a veteran, friend, and brother to rest later this week.
“He was a good guy, crazy, silly, and the last thing I told him was, ‘Until we meet again,’ and that ‘I love you, Bubba,'” Flores says.
Powell’s funeral service is set for Friday, July 9 at FountainGate Fellowship Church, located at 909 North Willis Street at 10 a.m.