Strangers Attend Veteran's Funeral To Console Grieving Family

June 4, 2024

Today's good news story comes from Phoenix, Arizona.

The family of Navy Medic Pamela Middlebrook was concerned that her funeral service might not properly honor her legacy with only a handful of family members expected to attend.

However, a simple social media post changed everything, and the Arizona community stepped up to support a grieving family.

strangers attend veterans funeral

The sight of parked cars outside the awning brought tears to her daughter Brittany Rumery's eyes.

"I think I started crying before I got out of the car," she shared.

At the end of May, Rumery was preparing to lay her 69-year-old mother, Pamela Middlebrook, to rest at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona. Middlebrook served as a Medic during the latter part of the Vietnam War, much of her service spent at Luke Air Force Base. She dedicated 16 years of her life to her country.

Middlebrook had been quietly battling bladder cancer, Rumery revealed.

With just 48 hours remaining before the service, Brittany worried that too few people would attend to properly honor her mother's contributions to her family and the country. In response, she posted on social media, and the message quickly spread. By the time the ceremony began, instead of just the six people initially expected, about two dozen individuals came to honor Middlebrook.

strangers attend veterans funeral
Brittany Rumery / Credit:

Among them was Bill Wooster of the Patriot Guard Riders. Though he had never met Pamela, he ensured she received a fitting tribute, delivering a service member's poem, offering words of condolences, and surrounding the awning with American flags on a blisteringly hot day.

"Whether they had one day of active duty or 20 years, it's equally important to show our honor and respect and gratitude as a nation," Wooster told ABC 15.

strangers attend veterans funeral
Bill Wooster /

Reflecting on the support, Rumery expressed her gratitude: "It made me happy, kind of restored my faith in humanity, that people can come together for someone they don't even know just to honor their memory and their service."

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