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Veteran laid to rest, with help from Paris VFW

A Vietnam Veteran was laid to rest in Paris Monday, after dedicating over 20 years of his life to serving his country, but because of COVID-19, none of his family members were able to attend his funeral.
Published: Dec. 8, 2020 at 10:40 PM CST
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PARIS, Texas (KXII) - A Vietnam Veteran was laid to rest in Paris Monday, after dedicating over 20 years of his life to serving his country, but because of COVID-19, none of his family members were able to attend his funeral.

So, his old VFW buddies got together to make sure that he was buried with honor.

“I became aware that he had passed away, and his body would be flown back to Paris to be buried, and that the family would not be able to come due to the distance involved and concerns of the coronavirus” said former VFW Commander David Dickerson.

Dickerson said Sgt. Robert Wessinger had served in Korea, and Vietnam. He was 89 years old when he passed away.

He said Wessinger had attended meetings at the VFW in Paris regularly since 1996.

“Telling war stories and everyone has a story to tell. I don’t really remember much, I just remember him” said Dickerson.

Wessinger and his wife lived in Paris for some time before she passed away, leaving him packing his bags to Ohio to be closer to remaining family.

“Then when he passed away, he wanted to be buried here with his wife, but because of COVID-19 they didn’t want to take the chance on coming down” said John Williams.

John Williams is also a former commander of the VFW post in Paris.

Dickerson and Williams said they couldn’t let Wessinger be buried alone.

“We’re not ever going to let a veteran go to his final resting place alone” Williams said. “He’s part of the family, and he will be honored at his burial if we have anything to do with it.”

“We just wanted to do something special for our fellow veteran. We’d hate for anyone to be buried alone and we veterans really like to look out for one another” said Dickerson.

So, Dickerson sent out an email calling all hands on deck, and they were able to hold his memorial service Monday.

“Myself and the five other VFW members served as pallbearers for Mr. Wessinger” Williams said.

The Patriot guard folded the flag, played Taps and even lead the opening prayer.

“Robert Wessinger had served in Korea and Vietnam. He committed 20 years of his life to protecting our country.. and what we did was just a small thing in return. So we were very honored to be able to do that” Dickerson said.

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