Community Honors Life Of Unclaimed Arkansas Veteran

FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- People from all over the River Valley celebrated the life of Vietnam veteran, Randall Sieffert after finding out he had no living relatives to attend his funeral.

"This whole place is full of people," Andrew Plumbtree, Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association said. "There should never be a man that served this country that everybody doesn't come out and support."

Most of the people who attended the funeral had never met Sieffert and may have not even know his name, but they all said he deserves a proper ceremony.

"We're all family," veteran Ryan Millican said. "We don't know him, we don't know his story, but he gave his life to protect everybody else that was here; to protect our rights, our freedoms."

Sieffert was 69 when he passed away last month and was brought to his final resting place at the National Cemetery in Fort Smith.

"He didn't have any family, so I sent out an email to our group and we all decided to meet up and come support him for his last moments," Plumbtree said.

"I was very happy with the turnout," Cyndy West, River Valley Marine Corps League said. "I hope I have this many people whenever I pass. It was really nice."

More than a hundred people showed up to honor the unclaimed veteran and many in attendance said social media played a large role in that.

"Because of social media and people in the community caring, we ended up with a lot of people, so we're really proud of Fort Smith and surrounding areas," West said.

"One of my friends put it on Facebook," Millican said. "I'm a veteran, so it doesn't matter if we know him or not. We're all family, so it's important to come out here and support."

Regardless of having known Sieffert, the community was able to say farewell in true military fashion.

"It makes me feel proud because this community supports its veterans," West said. "The veterans support each other and it doesn't matter what branch of service. We're all brothers and sisters together."

The flag from the funeral was presented to the River Valley Marine Corps League and will be placed in the Hall of Honor at Fort Chaffee.