Hundreds pay respects to fallen Lubbock Air Force veteran

Hundreds pay respects to fallen Lubbock Air Force veteran

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

Sgt. George Bradley Jr. had no immediate family in the area, and lacked the funds for a proper memorial, but hundreds of donors in stepped in to help.

At his funeral Friday, family, friends and even strangers showed up to celebrate the life of an American hero.

"He was one of kind, very special individual, and the outpouring of love that you saw today is reflective of the person that he was, he never met a stranger," Michael White, pastor at Pilgrim Baptist Church, said.

Sgt. Bradley grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana, and served in the U.S. Air Force for 20 years. He retired from Reese Air Force Base in 1989.

He died last Wednesday without the means for a proper burial. After reaching out to the public for help, White said the support was "overwhelming." The church surpassed its goal of $3,500.

"George's family not being from here, and being so far away and not being able to help him, and the community stepping in and filling that gap in such a big way, not only with how they stepped up with the funding, but to attend the service like they did, we're just, we're awestruck," White said.

The church has also set up a foundation in Sgt. Bradley's name to help benefit the families of fall veterans.

"The purpose of the foundation is so that we can honor other veterans' families who experience the same kind of hardships that George's family experienced, so we pray they won't have to go to the same lengths that we had to go to in order to try to get the George the honor that he's due," White said.

The best way to honor Sgt. Bradley is to have more love and less hate, White said.

"George loved everybody, regardless of the color of their skin, where they came from ... George accepted everybody for who they were," White said.

On Saturday, Mighty Wash on 82nd and Milwaukee is donating 10 percent of its profits to help with funeral expenses. 

A GoFundMe page is set up to help with burial costs and contribute to the foundation. To donate, click here.

Sgt. Bradley was 73 years old.


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