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El Paso community comes together for veteran’s burial without family

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- The community gathered Tuesday, for U.S. Navy Veteran Peter Botello, who was laid to rest with no family in attendance.

Benches usually filled by family members were empty, but Botello was not alone. Fellow veterans from the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association and representatives with the El Paso County Veteran Services, came together to give him a proper burial.

“Veterans helping veterans and, you know, we may not have known Peter, but he's a fellow veteran and it's our duty and our obligation, I feel, to be here in attendance to honor him one last time," said Chris Mapes, Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association Chapter 23-2 El Paso.

Botello served from 1958 to 1962 as a Hospital Corpsman in the U.S. Navy.

“Whenever somebody is unidentified and they identify that this person was a veteran, you know, El Paso will take responsibility and they'll actually fund for the burial of this veteran if they meet their qualifications," said Francisco Gonzalez, Director Fort Bliss National Cemetery.

Veteran County Service Officer, Antoinette Hunt, told ABC-7 after they get notified of the unattended burial, they work to spread the word.

"We know El Paso loves their veterans and I know they support them. So I know if we get the word out, we can get more people to attend and honor our veterans in the way that they should be," said Hunt.

Article Topic Follows: Military

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Brianna Perez


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