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Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

'They deserve it.' Community comes together to honor veteran

The veteran recently passed away at the Central Iowa VA with no family to make plans for his burial.

ADEL, Iowa — Last week, a Vietnam War era veteran passed away at the Central Iowa VA hospital with no family to help prepare a proper burial. On Wednesday, he received the sendoff he deserved at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery.

"It is very emotional when we see these folks pass away without and family to handle these things for them," said Joe Grandstaff from Peterson Funeral Home.

Grandstaff, along with the American Legion helped organize a military burial for the veteran including. Approximately 50 people showed up. 

"Every veteran deserves one. We make sure every veteran gets one," said Larry Varland of American Legion Post 59.

"Any time there is a veteran without any family it is sad and it does tug at your heart," Grandstaff added. "As a funeral home and as a son of a veteran the only thing I can do is make sure they have the sendoff they deserve."

For Grandstaff, ceremonies like the one Wednesday are personal. He laid his father in the same cemetery two months ago.

"It's very difficult. Being out here, as beautiful as it is and as respectful as everybody is out here, it really is emotional whether you know the person or don't know the person," said Grandstaff. 

On a breezy morning in Adel, plenty of people who did not even know the veteran showed up to make sure he got his sendoff.

"They served their country. They deserve it, every veteran should have that," Varland said.

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