Hundreds turn out to pay last respects to Vietnam vet with no fa - WDRB 41 Louisville News

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Don Kaas died July 29 at the Veterans Hospital in Lexington. Although he had no known family, hundreds of people showed up for his funeral. Don Kaas died July 29 at the Veterans Hospital in Lexington. Although he had no known family, hundreds of people showed up for his funeral.

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Kentucky veteran without a family was laid to rest today with full military honors.

Don Kaas died July 29 at the Veterans Hospital in Lexington. Although he had no known family, hundreds of people showed up from all over the country to pay their respects.

Veterans, active military members and civilians gathered Thursday at Camp Nelson National Cemetery in Nicholasville to give Kaas the burial they say he deserved.

Donald Cool, a Vietnam vet, didn't know Kaas but wanted to pay his respects to a fellow Vietnam veteran.

"I was saddened by the fact that someone could have served our country and not have anyone there at the close of his life to be there to support him," Cool said.

Cool was glad to see so many others there as well.

"I'm really impressed they've cared enough to show up today," Cool said. "It's wonderful. Makes me proud to be an American."

Kathleen Luttrell seemed to feel the same way.

"I thought it was my duty to come show respect for a veteran," she said.

After word spread that Kaas had no known relatives, people Luttrell says she felt "overwhelming sadness for the man who did not have anybody claim his body when he died."

All anyone knows about Kaas is that he was born in Chicago in the 40s, served in the Navy during the Vietnam war and moved to Kentucky because he loved horses.

"It's touched me in a way I didn't know I would be affected," said Shane Young who owns Ramsey Funeral Home.

Young says it was an easy decision to give Kaas a proper funeral with full military honors.

And Young won't be accepting donations to pay for it.

"We would rather see it [donations] go to either a local or national Veterans organization," Young said.

Young says in his 28 years in the funeral business, this is the first time he has ever been a part of something like this.

A Kentucky community has come together to bury a veteran they say had no family to take care of his funeral.

The funeral is taking place at Camp Nelson national cemetery in Nicholasville, which is just south of Lexington.

The family who owns Ramsey Funeral home is performing the funeral even though they didn't know the man.

"He was a veteran in the Navy in Vietnam," said Zach Young with Ramsey Funeral Home. "We don't have kind of any information on rank or anything like that. He was 66 years old and his name was Don Kaas -- and honestly, that's all we really needed to know."

Zach Young says the outpouring of support from community members has been overwhelming, but the funeral home isn't accepting any donations.

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