Navy veteran laid to rest two months after death

Posted at 6:46 PM, Apr 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-21 21:46:44-04

A Navy veteran who served in Vietnam was finally laid to rest two months after he died.

Engines roared at Miramar National Cemetery Thursday as members of the Patriot Guard escorted Francis Burgess to his final resting place.

The sound of "Taps" echoed during the service for Burgess, known affectionately as "TC." He proudly served our country and received several awards while in the Navy.

Friends gathered to remember him at his military funeral, but the only thing missing was family.

Fighting back tears, friend Veit Poor received the triangular-shaped flag. He said he was determined to give Burgess a memorial service when he learned no one else seemed to care.

"I kept calling the medical examiner's office and they kept telling me that he was still in the drawer, and he was in the drawer for 49 days," Poor said.

Poor said he called in the Patriot Guard and gathered friends because he didn't want the veteran to die alone -- a duty the Patriot Guard says they're honored to have.

"It's important because he put on a uniform and served his country and did it faithfully and completed it and he earned the right to military honors," said Lorenzo Lizarraga of the Patriot Guard.

Friends say Burgess didn't speak a lot about his time in the Navy or his family.

The memories they shared knowing him and how he loved his dog will stick with them forever.

"He was a really good friend; he'd help you out anyway he could and I would help him anyway I could," Poor said.