U.S. Marine Veteran Gerry Brooks was 86 years old when he passed away May 18th, 2024, after being admitted to a nursing home a week prior. Not much was known about U.S. Marine Brooks other than that he was widowed and visited a soup kitchen daily in Augusta for a meal while cracking jokes with the staff.


U.S. Marine Brooks does have surviving relatives, but when the funeral home contacted his family, nobody was willing to take responsibility for his body or funeral arrangements. With Brooks abandoned, the funeral home publicly posted to see if anyone would volunteer to help with arrangements, and immediately, Veterans and Mainers got to work.

A pilot volunteered to provide a flyover; the Patriot Guard Riders offered to escort the hearse 40-miles from the funeral home in Belfast to Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Augusta, members of the VFW volunteered to honor Brooks with a 21-gun salute, and hundreds voiced on social media that they would attend the funeral - and they did.

U.S. Marine Veteran Gerry Brooks was officially laid to rest at Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery on June 20th, 2024, while hundreds of Mainers cheers, sang, and waved American flags. It is also being reported that the crowd included Brooks's son, granddaughter and son-in-law, but neither spoke during the service.

If you'd like to donate to the Maine Veterans Cemetery Association, click here. 

The Veterans Memorial Cemetery Association is actively seeking new members to join their efforts. If you are interested in becoming a member, volunteering with the organization or donating to the cause, please contact Jerry Dewitt, Chairman, Veterans Memorial Cemetery Association.

If you'd like to donate to the Patriots Guard Riders, click here. 

The PGR is a 100% volunteer 501(c)(3) organization. We support our mission solely through the proceeds of the products purchased by our members at the PGR store, and by donations. There are no fees for membership, and the services we provide are done without charge out of honor and respect for the families of our fallen heroes.

If you'd like to support and find out more about the Department of Maine's VFW, click here. 

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