Columbia, SC (WLTX) - World War II veteran Robert D. Brooks received the honor he deserved after being found inside a suitcase in Arkansas.
Brooks was a gunner on a B-17 in World War II. His small stature allowed him to shoot from inside the ball turret, that's one of the most dangerous assignments.
Officials say he died of natural causes at his New York home earlier this year, but his body was discovered stuffed inside a suitcase more than 1,000 miles away near Little Rock.
Four people were charged with abuse of a corpse and a Social Security fraud investigation was opened. Some of them are believed to be his caregivers.
But this story is not about them. It's about the love, respect and honor Brooks received Tuesday afternoon after he was escorted from Arkansas to Ft. Jackson National Cemetery for a special service.
Riders from the Patriot Guard rode their bikes for three days almost 800 miles for the service. When they got there, Brook's son, Jay Brooks, received a Bible, a book signed by all the riders, and a plaque.
"I’m deeply touched that so many people want to help honor him and turn a tragic situation and a story into something with a beautiful ending," said Brooks.
He describes his father as a humble and compassionate man. ":He was stoic, very kind, giving, he gave. He didn’t necessarily have a lot of money to give but he gave services and his time to neighbors" he said.
L.Z. Harrison Jr. helped organize the trip, and he said they just wanted to "make it right" for a man who deserved the upmost respect. "We all have one thing in common and that’s a deep desire to show respect to those who have served this country," he said.
Brooks says this event will help him during his grieving period.
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