By Vanesa Brashier, firstname.lastname@example.org
An Army veteran will be laid to rest at 10 a.m. Thursday, at Hardin Chapel Cemetery, without a single family member present, so the community is being asked to go to the funeral in place of his family.
Terry Vick, 61, died in early April. Since that time, his body has been in the care of Allison Funeral Home in Liberty where John Burgess, managing partner, was able to track down some of Vick’s military history through a couple of his friends.
“He was a gunner/crew member for the 69th Armored Division and was stationed in Germany prior to the Berlin Wall coming down. It was a very tense time as far as the U.S. Armed Forces were concerned because there was some fear of going to war with Russia,” Burgess said. “Mr. Vick was right in the middle of it and would have been on the front lines had we gone to war with Russia. As we know from history, cooler heads prevailed, and they came to a peace agreement.”
In 1980, Vick left military service and moved to Liberty County where he worked in construction and roofing. He fell on hard times in the subsequent years and was living in a storage locker on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, where he kept an American flag above the door.
“He had no running water or electricity, but he was a patriot to the end. I think that is part of his story coming full circle. He always represented patriotism,” Burgess said. “It doesn’t matter to us if he lived in a mansion or a storage locker, we are honored to be part of the funeral for this veteran.”
Two of Vick’s friends are expected to attend his funeral. Through research, Burgess was able to track down Vick’s only known survivor – a cousin in Amarillo who is unable to attend.
The graveside service also be attended by members of the U.S. Army, who will handle the ceremonial folding and presentation of the American flag; the VFW Honor Guard, which will perform a gun salute; American Legion Post members; and the Patriot Guard Riders.
The funeral service will be officiated by Rev. Gideon Watson of Hardin United Methodist Church.
Hardin Chapel Cemetery, located at 1005 FM 834 W next to Hardin United Methodist Church, is donating a burial plot for Vick, and Superior Grave Service is assisting with his internment.