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Community comes together to pay respect to fallen veteran

An Oklahoma veteran with no known remaining family was laid to rest with full military honors on Wednesday, at 1 p.m. at the Fort Sill National Cemetery in Elgin. Approximately 300 people attended the veteran’s funeral.

“We were pleasantly surprised to see all the vehicles lining the road and the streets of the cemetery,” said Brent Jones, of the OK Cremation and Funeral Home in Oklahoma City. “It truly meant a lot to us, it was a great honor to assist with this funeral and it was very touching to see so many people there.”

Jay Litzenburg was a friend and neighbor of Burke’s and received the flag for Burke’s best friend, Jose Lopez, who couldn’t be at the funeral as he was in Washington, D. C.

Retired U.S. Army SFC Michael James Burke IV was born August 8, 1961. He enlisted into the Army on August 2, 1979 and served his country faithfully until his retirement on August 31, 1999.

Full honors were rendered by the U.S. Army Honor Guard and the escort and flag line was provided by the Patriot Guard Riders of Lawton. Taps was also played and a 21-gun salute was rendered. There were many uniformed soldiers in attendance and several motorcycle clubs also made their presence known.

There were 13 bikes which lead the funeral procession to the burial site and all of the bikes flew American flags.

“I have been in the Patriot Guard Riders for two years and I am proud to participate in each event that we are invited too,” Don Bedford, a member of the riders group said. “I am honored to show my respect for a fellow soldier.”

The Lawton Constitution

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