Nursing home workers fill void, honor deceased resident with full military funeral

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A former soldier who died at a Manchester, NH, nursing home was given a full military funeral on Wednesday, courtesy of his caregivers at the facility he called home, according to local news reports.

Michael Hayes, 89, died in his sleep on Sept. 25. Without any known family or friends, his body went unclaimed at a local funeral home for more than a week. Workers at Mount Carmel Nursing Home in Manchester decided to take matters into their own hands. Although they didn't know much more than that Hayes had served in the Army in World War II, they were able to discover he qualified for a full military funeral, broadcast station WMUR in Manchester reported.

"It was just something we had to do," said Stephen Brown, a nurse at Mount Carmel, in the report. "He had no family. He was a great guy. Never complained, even with how sick he was."

"We decided that we are his family since he came to us, and we would give him what we give to the rest of our family at home," another employee was quoted as saying. Hayes was buried at the Veteran's Cemetery in Boscawen, NH, to the strains of a bugler playing "Taps."