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'Caring' Virginia officer organizes funeral for Vietnam veteran 'to see it through'

Posted at 9:51 AM, Mar 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-27 09:51:10-04

AMELIA COUNTY, Va. -- A Vietnam veteran whose remains went unclaimed was honorably laid to rest at the Virginia's Veteran Cemetery in Amelia County Thursday thanks to an officer with the Farmville Police department.

Officers discovered the body of Robert Garrad Jr. in January. When no family members came forward to claim his remains, the Prince Edward County Sheriff's office paid to have his body cremated, as per their code.

Farmville Detective Sammie Entrekin wanted to make sure the veteran had a proper burial, so he organized the funeral.

"My father is a Vietnam veteran. I'm a veteran, my wife is a veteran. And we understand that, you know, no man left behind is an important value to have," Entrekin said. "And I just can't imagine not seeking that for him as far as the honor that our country owes him."

Farmville Police Chief Andy Ellington said the community tribute was "all because of his thoughtfulness, his caringness."

“He wanted to see this man that he had no idea of until the day he did this investigation, that he wanted to see it through that he got the burial he got today," Ellington added.

Garrad was escorted by Patriot Guard riders, the Farmville Police Department, Prince Edward Sheriff's Office and various veteran groups.

Police said Garrad served the U.S. Army as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division during the Vietnam War.