Hundreds Gather at Dying War Veteran’s Bedside Thanking Him for Service

October 20, 2019 Updated: October 20, 2019

Hundreds of people gathered at the bedside of a Jacksonville, Florida, war veteran who died Oct. 17 after suffering a stroke, 11 Alive reports.

Gunnery Sgt. John Guglielmino had served more than 17 years with the U.S. Marine Corps and completed multiple tours in Vietnam.

He was 69 when he passed away and had also been battling cancer.

Before his death, Guglielmino’s daughter, Katherine Boccanelli, shared a request on Facebook asking people to pay him a visit.

The post was met with an overwhelming response from the community, and he ended up with more than 200 visits from local veterans at his bedside.

According to the publication, Guglielmino also received a special medal from the office of local congressman John Rutherford (R-Fla.).

Following his death, Boccanelli thanked the community for being a part of her father’s last few days.

She told First Coast News: “I just want to thank them so much for being apart of his final days, the salutes the handshakes, the hugs the prayers.”

Guglielmino left a mark on the few family members he had on the First Coast, including his daughter and grandchildren.

Boccanelli said Guglielmino had been her “rock” throughout her life and that she felt “overwhelming sadness and heartbreak” following his death.

The family are now hoping the community will support them one last time as they prepare for Guglielmino’s funeral.

“We lost my mom a few years ago so there is not a lot of family, if our extended military would like to come and pay their final respects nothing would make me happier,” Boccanelli said, according to the news outlet.

She has set up a GoFundMe page to help raise money for funeral expenses with a goal of raising $4,500.

A post by Boccanelli on the page reads: “Following his passing many folks have reached out to ask how they could help or donate. To honor his memory, I am collecting donations for his memorial, which will directly go towards final expenses.

“The love and appreciation he received in his final days has meant everything to him. He lit up every time he heard ‘semper fi gunny’ and I cried through every salute.”

She added: “I would like to thank the local community for honoring my father and supporting us through such a difficult time. God bless and semper fi.”

Guglielmino’s service will be held at CrossRoads to Victory Church in Raiford, Florida, First Coast News reports.

The date and time are yet to be confirmed.

If you’d like to help with funeral expenses or show your support, please visit Boccanelli’s Gofundme page.