The Fort Sill National Cemetery held a committal funeral service for Corporal Charles York, a Veteran who died with no immediate family to honor him.

The Veteran community and its families – about 300 people – rallied to honor Corporal York and to ensure he was not buried alone.

A Navy and Marine Corps Veteran, York served in Vietnam

The Fort Sill National Cemetery regularly holds memorial services for Unaccompanied Veterans, former service members whose next of kin is unknown or who have loved ones that cannot attend their service. Many times, burial arrangements have been made by a public administrator, a VA medical center, or some other authorized entity.

Fort Sill Veterans honor Cpl. Charles York at his funeral.

“The Veteran community rallied to ensure he was not buried alone.”

Every Veteran with honorable service has earned the right to be interred in a national cemetery and has paid the price by their service to this great nation. VA encourages the community to join us as we pay tribute to those who have served and sacrificed for our nation. It simply is the right thing for us to do.

The memorial service included full military funeral honors, the playing of “Taps,” the presentation of a folded American flag, and bagpipes. Several local media outlets covered York’s service, which lasted about 20 minutes.

Every service member receives proper tribute

Cemetery staff is present at every single burial and committal service. They become their family in that moment and ensure each service member who passes through the gates receives the proper tribute.

This event solidifies the amazing work cemetery employees are doing by partnering with the community to honor our Veterans and their families.

Located in Elgin, the 391-acre Fort Sill National Cemetery was dedicated on Nov. 2, 2001. Since that time, the cemetery has conducted more than 8,000 interments of Veterans and eligible dependents.

Burial in a VA national cemetery is open to all members of the armed forces and Veterans who have met minimum active-duty service requirements, as applicable by law and were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.

Members of the reserve components of the armed forces who die while on active duty under certain circumstances or who die while on training duty are also eligible for burial, as are service members and former service members who were eligible for retired pay at the time of their death.

Spouses, minor children and, under certain conditions, dependent unmarried adult children are also eligible for burial even if they predecease the Veteran.

For more information, call 800-535-1117 or visit

By Matthew Priest is assistant director of the Fort Sill and Fort Gibson National Cemeteries

Share this story

Published on Oct. 16, 2021

Estimated reading time is 2.1 min.

Views to date: 351


  1. Phillip Webb October 21, 2021 at 9:06 am

    I can’t say it any better than Rubio did. It was an honor to serve, and it is an honor to acknowledge and honor my brothers and sisters in arms, regardless of branch.

  2. Julian Rubio October 20, 2021 at 10:42 pm

    To the 300 veterans and their families who turned out for Cpl York’s burial at Ft. Sill cemetery, may our Lord and Savior who was also with you bless you and your families. You can always count on the military community to care for their own. With all the hatred and ugliness that surrounds us daily, I give thanks everyday that I was smart and lucky enough to swear the Oath for my country 35 years ago to be a member of this family. I will forever be proud.

    • Phillip Webb October 21, 2021 at 9:07 am

      Very well said brother

Comments are closed.

More Stories

  • Housebound Veterans are winners when they combine virtual and in-home health care visits. Susan Gallagher receives hybrid care, both virtual and in-person.

  • In 2022, VA set a goal to house 38,000 homeless Veterans. With only a few months to go, how are we doing?

  • Under the PACT Act, Vietnam era, Gulf War era, and Post-9/11 Veterans have extended eligibility for VA health care.