Vietnam War Veteran Dies Without any Known Family, Local Citizens Step in and Honor the Hero

vietnam veteran funeral iowa

Patriots and bikers in central Iowa attended the funeral of a Vietnam veteran they didn’t even know last week. The veteran, William Eddington, passed away leaving behind no known family, so the great people of Iowa showed up to bid farewell to this brave American who risked it all for his country.

William Eddington, 78, was living alone in West Des Moines, Iowa when he passed away last week. Little was known about the man and no family members came forward to provide any information.

However, what is known is that William Eddington was stationed in California and he served in the Vietnam War. America’s brave veterans deserve our utmost respect and admiration, so Peterson Funeral Home in Indianola, Iowa went out of their way to give this unsung hero a proper military send off.

Although they never met the man, dozens of patriots showed up at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery in Van Meter to pay their respect to William Eddington. All they needed to hear was a fellow patriot was being laid to rest and they were on their way.

It was a tear jerking sight watching the procession of flag waving bikers make their way through the cemetery. Mr. William Eddington is gone, but not forgotten. Thank you for your service, sir.

Patriot Guard Riders pay respects to late veteran

The main group that showed up to pay their respects to William Eddington was the Patriot Guard Riders, a non-profit group of bikers that was founded in 2005.

Their mission began as a way to shield military families from protesters and trouble makers who would often show up to cause trouble at veteran’s funerals. It’s sad there even needs to be such an organization. I can’t think of anything more despicable than protesting at a veteran’s funeral. How low can these people get?

The Patriot Guard has grown rapidly over the past few decades and now they have thousands of members in all fifty states. As their organization has grown, so has their mission.

Now, on top of their original goal of guarding military families at funerals, they also run various charity programs that benefit veterans and first responders. Sounds like a great organization to me. If you’re interested in learning more about the Patriot Guard Riders, donating to their cause or even joining one of their charity events, you can visit their website at

vietnam veteran william eddington iowa funeral

The Vietnam War was a long and bloody conflict which lasted nearly twenty years. At the end of the war, approximately 47,000 US servicemen were killed in combat and more than 300,000 more were wounded.

Record keeping was faulty during the war, therefore there is no confirmed number of Americans who served in Vietnam. The best estimates made by the Department of Defense place the number at around 3,000,000 Americans, give or take a few hundred thousand.

The American War Library estimates that approximately 774,000 Americans who served in land, air or sea missions in Vietnam between 1954 and 1975 are still alive today. A number that is steadily dwindling at this great generation continues to reach their golden years.


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