It was a solemn scene at Coastal Bend State Veterans Cemetery as dozens from around the Coastal Bend gathered to honor the passing of two military veterans.
The cemetery held funeral services for both Navy veteran Randy Shultz and Army veteran Howard Lyman. Both either didn't have reachable family or had family members who couldn't attend, according to officials.
As a result, the cemetery invited the Coastal Bend community to stand in as family for the two veterans. And the community most certainly did.
"I really think that we should be coming here today, to pay respects to the fallen," explained Avery Garcia, a 9th-grade student from Aransas Pass. "And since it's on Valentine's Day, we can show the love that we have for them."
Dozens came to the cemetery to pay their respects. Among them, other veterans who joined their brothers-in-arms to pay their own respects.
"I just feel like they're one of my brothers," said Bob Weed, an Army veteran who served during the Korean War.
Randy Shultz was a veteran of the Gulf War. Howard Lyman served during the Korean War.