Vietnam vet who died Christmas Eve is finally laid to rest

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A Vietnam War veteran from North Carolina who died on Christmas Eve with no family nearby has finally been laid to rest with military honors.

It took a community to ensure that 67-year-old Phillip Drye of Concord was buried Wednesday at Salisbury National Cemetery with military honors. A friend says the funeral was delayed because the government shutdown bogged down the arrival of Drye's military paperwork.

Linn-Honeycutt Funeral Home in China Grove covered the costs of the funeral for Drye, who was an Army medic who received the Bronze Service Star.

The Army provided soldiers to fold the U.S. flag and play taps. More than 100 people, many of them strangers, attended Drye's service.

Drye's friend, Mark Blackwelder, says Drye died at his home, likely of a heart attack.

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