A group of more than 1,000 strangers assisted forgotten Army veteran with no family in his funeral service.
Peter Turnpu, 77, who died alone at his South Jersey home but was honored Friday by more than 1,000 people strangers who came to pay their respects.
Groups of veterans, government officials and others from South Jersey attended to show their appreciation for Turnpu's service to the country during the Vietnam War era and to ensure he wasn't buried as a forgotten former soldier.
Leroy Wooster of Wooster Funeral Home and Cremation Service said, "We have to give honor to those who have served and Peter would have had no one here if we didn't reach out."
Wooster said when he heard about Turnpu's death he couldn't just let the Vietnam veteran be buried alone. He paid for the funeral and invited the community to attend the service.
"I really did not want the publicity and I am not a hero. The hero is Peter. The heroes are the veterans who are here to honor him," he said.
Turnpu was found dead of natural causes Dec. 9 at his Waterford home by a neighbor. He lived alone and had few acquaintances. He was married and divorced in 1980; the couple had no children.