Hundreds of strangers gathered on Friday to honor a veteran who died alone.
Nearly 1,000 people showed up at the Brigadier Gen. William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery in North Hanover, New Jersey, to pay their respects to Peter Turnpu, according to USA Today.
On Dec. 9, Turnpu was found unresponsive inside his home in Atco by a neighbor, who frequently checked on him, the outlet reported.
The Army veteran died of natural causes, New Jersey Herald reported. He was 77.
Turnpu had no known relatives and for the most part, kept to himself.
Touched by his story, police officer LeRoy Wooster took it upon himself to plan Turnpu’s funeral.
“It was the right thing to do. I didn’t want him to be buried alone,” Wooster told New Jersey Herald.
Wooster, who is also owner of LeRoy Wooster Funeral Home in Atco, arranged for Turnpu to buried with military honors, USA Today reported.
TOMORROW: Funeral Service for Vietnam Veteran, Peter Turnpu.
Mr. Turnpu has no family attending, but he deserves our support & to be honored for his service. Please attend if you can and share with others who may be able to attend. Thank you. https://t.co/mgjSrTCU7h pic.twitter.com/3oMBOVUYME
— NJ Vietnam Veterans (@NJVVMF) January 17, 2019
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Paying respect to local @camdencountynj Vietnam #veteran Peter Turnpu at Brigadier General Doyle Cemetery in Wrightstown. He passed away with no family. Hundreds came out to show their appreciation for this veteran’s service. #WelcomeHome #vietnamvet pic.twitter.com/1mmgZSATRb
— Freeholder Bill Moen (@BillMoen) January 18, 2019
The amount of support was overwhelming, some attendees didn’t even get to visit Turnpu’s graveside as the crowd was so massive.
“It shows a great amount of support for our veterans. Everyone was pleased to see the number of people who came. They came together like one big family