Vietnam Era Marine Veteran Died Alone

Published December 20, 2019

Rumble A bugle playing taps echoed across the Pikes Peak National Cemetery in Coloado Springs on Thursday morning. A military funeral here is common. On this day, Duane Lawrence, a Vietnam era veteran, was laid to rest.

Lawrence was a Marine with no known family or friends. That’s why the the director of the cemetary asked the Colorado Guard Riders to stand for him. And, they did.

“It’s a tragic and sad event that he had no family,” Jim Balcerovich said. He’s the ride captain for the Colorado Patriot Riders. “Today, the community is his family.”

Dozens of riders joined Balcerovich and hundreds of other strangers came to honor the 77-year old.

“We had about one hundred riders respond to our invitation,” Balcerovich said. “You can see all the cars and people lined up. There’s a bunch more.”