‘No man left behind:’ Farmville detective organizes service for Vietnam veteran

‘No man left behind:’ Farmville detective organizes service for Vietnam veteran
A detective from the Farmville Police Department organized a funeral service for a Vietnam veteran that passed away in January. (Source: Source; NBC)

AMELIA COUNTY, Va. (WWBT) - Members of the Farmville Police Department, Prince Edward County Sheriff’s Office, Patriot Guard Riders, and local veterans honored the life of a Vietnam veteran, who was found dead in January.

Detective Sammy Entrekin says Robert Garrad Jr. had no family to claim his body. By code, the Prince Edward County Sheriff’s Office paid for his cremation.

Out of fear that this veteran would not get the proper burial he deserves, Entrekin asked Chief Andy Ellington with the Farmville Police Department if they could hold a graveside service for him.

“We’re a brotherhood, sisterhood, and you take care of each other,” Entrekin said. “I come from a military family. My father is a Vietnam veteran. My wife’s father is a Vietnam veteran. We can’t let that happen.”

On Thursday morning, the veteran’s remains were escorted to Virginia Veteran’s Cemetery in Amelia County. During this service, dozens of people were paying tribute to a man many didn’t know.

“If it doesn’t bring tears to your eyes or break your heart, nothing ever will,” said Chief Andy Ellington. “This man had no idea that he would be treated the way he was treated today and it’s all because of people who care.”

A community of support for a service member Entrekin says is inspiring to see.

“They don’t care that they don’t know the man. They don’t care if they’ve never heard his name before. They’re going to come out and give this man the proper respect that the country needs to give him,” he said. “It’s what he deserves.”

Chief Ellington also says Detective Entrekin’s work to organize this funeral service goes beyond the call of duty.

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