Veteran laid to rest five months after dying

In a North Austin church parking lot Patriot Guard Riders gathered to honor one of their own.

"We're here today on a mission to escort a veteran," said veteran Terry Ayers. "He was previously classified as unclaimed," added Ayers.

Five months ago Alvin Simpson, 65, died inside a Waco shelter. The Vietnam Veteran had fallen on tough times.

"For circumstances we don't know why he became homeless it's irrelevant but the fact is the man served his country," said Ayers.

At the time his family didn't have the money to pay for a funeral but reached out to Robert Falcon who owns Affordable Burial and Cremation Service in Austin and Killeen.

"The gentleman didn't belong in a potter's grave but in a place of honor and that's where we are taking him to rest with heroes," said Falcon. Falcon turned to social media to raise money through the crowd funding site GoFundMe. The cost was $1350 and a company donated a patriotic casket.

Law enforcement and veterans made the hour drive to the Central Texas Veterans Cemetery. Flags lined the ceremony area.

"I didn't think it was going to be possible," said Skeeter Simpson. Not wanting to be alone she invited veterans to sit with her and her husband. They gladly filled the seats. Something they say they've never done before.

"I'm grateful. I tried to say thank you to them all and shake their hands but it's not enough," said Simpson.

"Mr. Simpson served his country with free will and then when he needed his country people turned their back and walked on him," said Falcon.

"He was proud of what he did and where he came from," Simpson said.

Simpson is a peace knowing her father was laid to rest with respect and honor.

Alvin Simpson now has a place to call home.

"He always talked about this and I think he would be smiling," said Simpson.

Falcon hopes to raise more money online through a heroes fund to help other veterans. He says Simpson isn't the only vet to fall through the cracks.

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