OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — On Thursday afternoon, roughly 40 citizens and veterans from the Omaha community paid their respects for a deceased veteran with no known family.
Sgt. Charles. L Benedict died on July 7 at the age of 66. A veteran who fought in Vietnam, Benedict spent 12 years in the U.S. Army.
"We're here to honor a true American hero that signed up and did service to America to preserve our way of life and the life we enjoy today," said Scott Knudsen, the state captain for the Nebraska Patriot Guard Riders. "We hope that it's a fitting sendoff for a true American hero that has earned this recognition at this final journey home for him."
With just two hours notice prior to the funeral, the Nebraska Patriot Guard riders were able to bring a group of nearly a dozen riders to the funeral.
"There's no family and the cemetery reached out a couple of hours ago and we reached out to our people," Knudsen said. "Those of us that are here are symbolic and are representing the rest of our membership. To us it means everything. We exist as the Patriot Guard riders to honor our heroes on our first responders."
Roughly 40 people showed up to the funeral, paying their respects to a man they never knew.
"You don't want anybody to pass alone or have that thought it could be one of your family members and you want to be there to honor them," said Mandy Sudbeck, a military wife and mother of three. Sudbeck saw information about the funeral on Facebook and thought it was important to take her children to it since their step-father is in the Air Force.
"For someone to make it home and to not have anybody to have that legacy devoted to we just wanted to make sure we were there to show that gratitude," Sudbeck said.
For those who want to pay their respect, Benedict, a David City-native is burried in Section 3, Plot 345 at the Omaha National Cemetery.