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Special farewell to veteran in Wyoming County

"He was a very proud Marine and a very wonderful man." People turned out for a socially distant funeral procession in Wyoming County.

TUNKHANNOCK, Pa. — People held flags and banners as a funeral procession passed by near Tunkhannock for James Hallock, a Vietnam veteran, who passed away last week.

His family was told by the funeral home they couldn't hold a large ceremony due to the governor's orders to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and the Marines couldn't come out and give a proper military funeral.

Hallock's daughter Jennifer posted to Facebook hoping to get some help from local veteran groups, and it took off.

"The amount of people that came because we were not going to let it happen that he was not going to get his service. That's all it was," said Fred Baker, American Legion Post 154 commander.

Fred's son Chazz Baker is also a member of the Legion, and he was the one that was contacted by Jennifer. Chazz reached out to several state lawmakers and got several responses on how they could act.

"It was also warranted as long as we maintained social distancing. It was a very good sendoff for James, who definitely deserved it."

It didn't take long for word to spread about what was happening, and the turnout was more than they expected.

Several bikers from veteran groups, area fire departments, and police came to show their respect, keeping their distance from each other. Veterans from the Hallstead American Legion provided a 21-gun salute and then a solemn farewell song, from a Legion member playing Taps, for the decorated veteran.

"He was a very proud Marine and a very wonderful man."

When the pandemic ends, James will receive an official military ceremony from the Marine Corps.