WWII Navy Veteran Serina Vine fell on hard times and became homeless. She was living on the streets of Washington D.C., when she was found wandering around showing signs of dementia in 1995. The Department of Veterans Affairs’ Community Living Center took Vine in and cared for her until she passed away at the age of 91 just several days ago. They planned to have Vine’s funeral services on June 7, at Quantico National Cemetery, but the organizers only expected four people to attend. When Maj. Jaspen Boothe found out, she knew she had to do something about it. Being a formerly homeless Veteran herself, she decided to support Vine the best way she knew how, she reached out to all of her Veteran networks and asked people to attend. She thought maybe 20 people would attend, but was overwhelmed by the amount of people who showed up for Vine. Over 200 strangers attended and the scene was so stunning it brought tears to their eyes.
Boothe shared with Today,
in the military, we don’t serve alone, therefore we should not die alone. I was thinking my efforts would make maybe 20 to 30 people show up, but when I arrived, there were hundreds of cars lined up.
It was quite an emotional occasion, as one can see by the photos taken at the funeral services. Boothe, who also runs a non-profit called Final Salute, where she helps other homeless veterans.
This one beautiful act of kindness touched so many people and created a ripple effect that honored the service of one very special veteran. May it continue to inspire others to pay it forward and show respect and on to our service men and women. Without them, our world would be a very different place.