150 people turn out for Liberty Army veteran they never knew

Conna Draughon accepts the American flag that was draped on the coffin of her cousin, U.S. Army veteran Terry Vick, whose funeral was held Thursday at Hardin Chapel Cemetery.

By Vanesa Brashier, editor@bluebonnetnews.com

Mourners packed the Hardin Chapel Cemetery pavilion on Thursday morning to show honor and respect for the life of U.S. Army veteran Terry Vick, who died in early April.

Most who attended had never met Vick even though he spent 40 years of his post-military life in the community of Liberty. On Wednesday, when word got out on social media that Allison Funeral Home was having trouble finding a single relative to attend Vick’s funeral, other veterans and community residents made plans to stand in for Vick’s family.

As it turned out, one of Vick’s relatives was located by the time of his funeral. Conna Draughon, of Livingston, said she hadn’t seen her first cousin in 10 years after the two lost touch. As Vick was homeless in the latter part of his life, Draughon said she had looked for him unsuccessfully on numerous occasions. It was through an article on Bluebonnet News, which was shared on social media by more than 1,500 people, that Draughon learned of her cousin’s passing.

“I saw the story on Facebook and it took my breath away,” said Draughon.

She contacted Allison Funeral Home Wednesday afternoon to share her plans to attend his funeral with her husband, Martin. At Vick’s funeral, she tearfully accepted the U.S. flag that draped his coffin during the graveside service, which was led by Rev. Gideon Watson, pastor of Hardin First United Methodist Church.

Providing a proper military burial for military personnel who have fallen on hard times is a duty that all Americans should feel compelled to carry out to the fullest of their abilities, Watson said.

“For those who have served our country, regardless of who they are, they deserve the honor and dignity of our respect and admiration. It is through their sacrifice that we have the many freedoms that we enjoy today, and we sometimes take those for granted,” Watson said. “Terry Lynn Vick is no different. He gave a part of his life to see that this great land was secure as a member of the U.S. Army. For that service, he earned the right to a proper burial with military honors.”

Vick’s funeral was attended by members of the U.S. Army, who performed the ceremonial folding and presentation of the American flag; the VFW Honor Guard from Post 5621 in Liberty; American Legion Post members representing six Legion Posts in the area; and the Patriot Guard Riders.

Hardin Cemetery Association donated a burial plot for Vick, Matthews Aurora Funeral Solutions provided a casket and Superior Grave Service assisted with internment. Allison Funeral Home in Liberty provided mortuary services.

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