From funeral of soldier without family: ‘Can’t let a veteran be by himself, even in death’

Newsfeed Now

Newsfeed Now Videos

Hunter kills 488-pound feral hog in Liberty County

Thumbnail for the video titled "Hunter kills 488-pound feral hog in Liberty County"

Digital Original: 14-year-old getting noticed for Kobe Bryant painting

Thumbnail for the video titled "Digital Original: 14-year-old getting noticed for Kobe Bryant painting"

DIGITAL ORIGINAL: 14-year-old getting attention after painting goes viral

Thumbnail for the video titled "DIGITAL ORIGINAL: 14-year-old getting attention after painting goes viral"

Take a Mardi Gras history tour with News 5

Thumbnail for the video titled "Take a Mardi Gras history tour with News 5"

Newsfeed Now for February 20

Thumbnail for the video titled "Newsfeed Now for February 20"

Mobile police confirm officer in viral arrest video taken off the street

Thumbnail for the video titled "Mobile police confirm officer in viral arrest video taken off the street"

Debate night brawl: Bloomberg, Sanders attacked by rivals

Thumbnail for the video titled "Debate night brawl: Bloomberg, Sanders attacked by rivals"

Debate night brawl: Bloomberg, Sanders attacked by rivals

Thumbnail for the video titled "Debate night brawl: Bloomberg, Sanders attacked by rivals"

Newsfeed Now for February 17, 2020- Kansas man offers $25K to help him find a long-term girlfriend, Ark. boy reunites with lost hat and teen buys video game for a kid

Thumbnail for the video titled "Newsfeed Now for February 17, 2020- Kansas man offers $25K to help him find a long-term girlfriend, Ark. boy reunites with lost hat and teen buys video game for a kid"
More Newsfeed Now

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A soldier without any known family received an emotional farewell Thursday in Middle Tennessee from hundreds of people he never met.

“We can’t let a veteran be by himself, even in death, ” said Sylvia Melton of her fellow veteran Lyndon Badgett who died this week without any known family members or even close friends.

Melton lived next door recently to the 57-year-old Air Force veteran at the Tennessee State Veterans home in Clarksville.

There were sporadic stories about Badgett from a few in the crowd who knew him in his last months, but over and over again, many there said they “did not want him to go out alone.”

The words at the service were spare, much like what was known of the veteran’s life.

Wade Winkler of the Gateway Funeral Home said it “was the first time he has handled such a funeral for a soldier” without known family members present, but he did indicate “a woman from the Knoxville area said she was the soldier’s daughter.”

Winkler added that she only learned of Badgett’s death from news accounts, but could not make to the funeral.

The funeral home performed the service at no cost.

Some at the Middle Tennessee State Veteran’s ceremony said they came from hundreds of miles away.

They filled a chapel on the ground while hundreds of other mourners–many of them soldiers past and present–remained outside paying their respects.

Others like Michelle Totty from nearby said she “had to come” because her father and step father are buried in the same cemetery.

Mt. Juliet teacher Sandy Elliott said she heard Badgett’s name on the news Thursday morning and realized they went to high school together in Maryville, Tennessee.

“I grabbed my yearbook from high school, found his picture and said that is my Lyndon, “she added.

“We were in the band together. He played the saxophone,” Elliott said before the ceremony, which included military honors from the Air Force and Patriot Guard.

Badgett’s classmate expressed sadness that she knew nothing of his life after high school, but knew she had to be there as one of the few who actually knew Badgett.

“I am a high school teacher. Went to school today, told my principal I have to go, I have to be there,” said Elliott.

Along with the soldiers past and present making up most of the mourners, there were a few veterans like Sylvia Melton who were with Badgett at the state veterans home until he recently moved into another care center.

“We knew him. We used to talk to him, “added Melton. “He did not come out much, but we would try to mess with him and get him alive.”

Now in death, Lyndon Badgett is remembered like he probably never imagined.

“And he has a family now,” said Michelle Totty about Lyndon Badgett.

He will now rest in the same veterans cemetery as her father and step-father.



Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Overcast

Abbeville

59°F Overcast Feels like 59°
Wind
12 mph ESE
Humidity
78%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Cloudy skies with a few showers after midnight. Low 58F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 30%.
58°F Cloudy skies with a few showers after midnight. Low 58F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 30%.
Wind
7 mph SE
Precip
20%
Sunset
Moon Phase
New
Overcast

Crowley

59°F Overcast Feels like 59°
Wind
10 mph SE
Humidity
82%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Cloudy skies early, then off and on rain showers overnight. Low 58F. Winds SSE at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 40%.
58°F Cloudy skies early, then off and on rain showers overnight. Low 58F. Winds SSE at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 40%.
Wind
7 mph SE
Precip
20%
Sunset
Moon Phase
New
Overcast

Opelousas

59°F Overcast Feels like 59°
Wind
6 mph SSE
Humidity
78%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Cloudy skies early, then off and on rain showers overnight. Low 56F. Winds SSE at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 40%.
58°F Cloudy skies early, then off and on rain showers overnight. Low 56F. Winds SSE at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 40%.
Wind
7 mph SE
Precip
20%
Sunset
Moon Phase
New
Overcast

Breaux Bridge

60°F Overcast Feels like 60°
Wind
8 mph SE
Humidity
75%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Mostly cloudy. Low 56F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph.
58°F Mostly cloudy. Low 56F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph.
Wind
7 mph SE
Precip
20%
Sunset
Moon Phase
New
Overcast

New Iberia

58°F Overcast Feels like 58°
Wind
9 mph SE
Humidity
90%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Partly cloudy skies early giving way to a few showers after midnight. Low 44F. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 30%.
56°F Partly cloudy skies early giving way to a few showers after midnight. Low 44F. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 30%.
Wind
4 mph SE
Precip
20%
Sunset
Moon Phase
New

Trending Stories

Aaron Nolan is a morning show co-host in Little Rock, Arkansas with Nexstar Media Group's KARK-TV. He has a passion for social media and makes it an important part of his daily routine. Click here to read Aaron's full bio.

Sidebar