Veteran buried in Ardmore; strangers honor his service - - No One Gets You Closer

Veteran buried in Ardmore; strangers honor his service

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ARDMORE, Okla. -- When Jack Josh Vail passed away on June 21, he had no family to attend his funeral.

But one Ardmore man was not going to let the military veteran be buried without the respect he was due.

Vail, 78,  had lived in the Ardmore Veterans Center for the last eleven years. Nobody in the area knew much about him, but all it took was a Facebook post before his life made an impression on people from all over Texoma.

Doug Williams said he had no idea how much attention his Facebook post was going to have.

"It overwhelmed me, it really did... but, it doesn't surprise me," he said.

Williams shared news of Jack Josh Vail after reading his obituary. No family was listed in the obituary, so he decided to post to Facebook.

"I knew that we had to do something, because there might not be anybody show up," Williams said. 

His social media message called out local patriots and veterans, asking for help in honoring a man who fought for our freedom. The post was shared more than 350 times.

"The call goes out and people show up," Williams said. "It's very nice of our community to do that."

Around 50 people attended Vail's service, along with Patriot Riders and active military personnel.

Strangers attend Jack Josh Vail funeral

Sandy Raley, a social worker at the Ardmore Veterans Center, was the only person there who actually knew him.

"Jack was a little ornery -- or a lot ornery --  but he could be witty and funny," Raley said. "He mixed with the other residents, he mixed with the staff."

Raley added it was touching to see how the community responded.

"The patriotism... the people caring. I've been out here many times for a veterans service and there was no one."

Williams said he hopes no veteran will have to be buried alone again.

"I'm not going to let that happen in Ardmore," he said. "We are not going to have a funeral with nobody here. They deserve a funeral, and they deserve the respect that they got today."

People from as far as Durant were at Vail's service on Thursday morning, and Williams said at least one business in Lone Grove closed its doors so the workers could come and offer their support.

Flowers at Jack Josh Vail funeral