Dozens attend funeral for local Vietnam veteran whose family couldn’t be located

More than 100 people who didn’t know Capt. Leora V. Gray attended her funeral on Monday at the Dayton National Cemetery on the grounds of the Dayton VA Medical Center after no family members could be located.

Gray, a Middletown resident, was a Vietnam veteran who served on active duty from 1974 to 1986. The Dayton VA Medical Center and other groups put out a call on social media to help in honoring Gray because no friends or family would be there.

“We have a Vietnam vet who has no family or friends left, and we are here to pay our respects to her,” said Mary Wening, who joined the group in honoring Gray on Monday.

Wening said she attended with the others because it “means I care as do all the people you see here.”

The attendees at the service were notified of the funeral ahead of time and came in support, Wening said.

Another attendee, Claudia Welles, said she attended the ceremony at the cemetery to say thank you to Gray.

“For the lady who gave her life so that we could have the freedoms we have. For me. For my kids, my grandchildren,” Welles said. “She stepped up and made a sacrifice for me and I am here to thank her.”

Chad Ware said he attended Monday because Gray was a member of the U.S. military family being buried without relatives present, and that she should have support.

“I wanted to be here to represent and stand for my family member, my fellow warrior that’s being committed today,” Ware said.

Ware added he brought his “veteran brothers” with him as well.

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