When the trumpets faded, Jonathan Whitt was surrounded by strangers, yet loved nonetheless.

Whitt, who served in the Army from 2005 to 2007, died at 31 in Brown County, Wisconsin, earlier in September. His mother and stepfather had already passed away and he and was largely disconnected from his family, but a group of strangers — many fellow veterans themselves — showed up to say goodbye.

“When you serve, when you got to basic training and serve with a group of individuals, it becomes a worldwide camaraderie,” said Joe Aulik of Brown County Veterans Services. “We served our country and we love what we do and we love each other.”

“To let this man know, wherever he’s at: your country supports you, we support you, and his family, wherever they are, that people love and support him, as well,” said Susan Powers, who attended the funeral. “Even in his final hours here.”

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