Chapter 899 Pays Its Respects

More than 1,000 people including members of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 899 paid their respects to Peter Turnpu last week, after the 77-year-old Vietnam veteran died alone in his Waterford, N.J., home last month.

Although Turnpu had no known family and few acquaintances, he received a full military funeral and burial in the Brig. Gen. William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery. LeRoy Wooster, operator of LeRoy Wooster Funeral Home, donated services, a casket and transportation of Turnpu’s remains, and spearheaded a social media campaign to recruit mourners.

A group from Chapter 899 was already at the cemetery and stayed for Turnpu’s burial later in the day. “We’re all brothers,” Ordway VanHee, the chapter’s third vice president, told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Nobody should go out alone.”

 Turnpu served in Vietnam from 1964 to 1966 and received an honorable discharge, making him eligible for a full military burial. Wooster gave the American flag draping Turnpu’s casket to Tom Engkilterra, regional coordinator of the National League of POW/MIA Families.

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