ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Airforce Staff Sergeant Christopher Day passed away January 1. His service and burial at the Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Abilene took place February 16. But with no surviving family to attend, he was listed as an “Unaccompanied Veteran.”

“It’s a hard thing to think about, that there’s any Veteran out there that doesn’t have any family left, and it really hits you hard when it’s somebody you know,” lamented fellow Veteran and friend of the deceased, Tech Sgt. Bradley Kerr.

Kerr worked with Day for many years. He, his fellow Veterans, and quite a few civilians showed up to the Thursday morning service to make sure their brother in arms did not go out of this world unnoticed or unhonored.

“Everybody out here today was that gentleman’s family,” spoke Veteran Barry Jenkins of the West Texas Patriot Guard.

While the Patriot Guard is present at many military funerals, Jenkins told KTAB/KRBC it’s days like this one when the guard feels an increased obligation to attend – ensuring that no service man or woman are alone as they depart.

Jenkins sounded off, “We’re all brothers and sisters.”

They say funerals are for the living, but it’s the memory and the life of the departed that brings out the best in those they leave behind.

“I think Sergeant Day would definitely be happy to know that on a day like today, remembering him brought a little bit of joy,” Tech Sgt. Kerr reasoned.

The Texas State Veterans Cemetery at Abilene announce the burial of any unaccompanied Veterans days before the service, so anyone who is able to attend and render honor can be there to provide support.