Air Force veteran honored at Unaccompanied Veteran Burial

Members of the community gathered in Killeen on Wednesday to ensure that a U.S. Air Force veteran was not buried alone.

An Unaccompanied Veteran Burial was held for Sgt. Paul Michael Sollars at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery where he received military honors.

Sgt. Sollars served from October 1965 to February 1969 and received the National Defense Service Medal. He chose to live out his final days alongside other veterans at a veterans' home in Temple until he passed away on May 4, 2024.

Sgt. Sollars wasn’t expected to have family present at his burial, but Carter-Lopez said someone who worked at the veterans' home tracked her down.


"I was afraid that we would be the only people present," said Carter-Lopez.  "I'm overwhelmed and feel the love of our local community and widespread community."

The Unaccompanied Veterans Program was started by the Texas Veterans Land Board in 2015.

"No one should ever go alone. They may pass away alone, but they should never be laid to rest alone," said Carter-Lopez. "They deserve to be honored, and especially when you are a veteran, you deserve the utmost respect and a good sendoff to your final resting place."