• Marine Corps veteran receives more than 100 visitors at his bedside before passing away

    By: Alicia Tarancon , Action News Jax

    Updated:

    CLAY COUNTY, Fla. - Pete Burdon received a call from his daughter about a post circulating on Facebook that was getting a lot of attention.  

    Gunnery Sgt. John Guglielmino, a Marine Corps veteran from Clay County was sick in the hospital and his daughter’s final plea was to get as many visitors as she could to say goodbye to her dad. 

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    “I contacted her right away and I said would this be a good time to go over there,” said Pete Burdon, a retired Navy civilian who spent 37 years working with the Navy.

    Burdon said he responded to the call because it felt like it was important to say goodbye to a fellow veteran, even if he didn’t know him personally.

    Last week he gave him a hat and a hero’s salute.

    “When I joked with him you can see that he tried to smile and then he tried to salute after he put that hat on, that was really a touching moment for me,” Burdon said. 

    His daughter Katherine Boccanelli told me her father served three tours in Vietnam. She said he suffered a stroke back in April and he was diagnosed with cancer from exposure to Agent Orange

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    She didn’t want him to feel alone with his last few days on earth so she put the post out on social media. 

    What she didn’t expect was to see the outpour from the community. 

    “For her it was a step she didn’t know was going to happen when she put it out there, about a 100 people showed up in that short time,” Burdon said. 

    Burdon says he said goodbye to Guglielmino in the hospital and he’ll be there tomorrow to say his final farewell at the funeral. 

    The funeral will be Wednesday at 11 a.m. at Crossroads to Victory Church in Raiford. 

    Guglielmino’s family says any veterans who visited who wanted to come out and pay their respects are welcome to attend.

    To contribute to the funeral services, click here

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