GLENDALE, Ariz. — Clyde Taylor who goes by “Tex” enlisted in the Army and served with the military police during the Vietnam War.
“Our country was in need and I felt it was the right thing to do,” said Tex.
He’s still serving his fellow veterans but now doing so with the Missing In America Veterans Recovery Program – which locates, identifies and inters unclaimed veterans' remains with military honors.
“I feel it’s an honor. I take pride in being a veteran and that’s why I try to carry on serving veterans with what I now do,” he said. “One thing we were all promised was an honorable, dignified military burial. Sitting on a funeral home shelf, they are not receiving it.”
His mentor at the recovery program, Jim Fuller, had served in Vietnam with the Marine Corps.
In 2013 when Fuller was losing his battle with cancer, Fuller asked Tex a favor, to oversee his burial.
“I said, I would be honored. I asked him, ‘How do you feel about going to Arlington National Cemetery?’” Tex said.
Fuller declined but Tex still worked behind the scenes and Fuller was accepted for burial at Arlington National Cemetery.
After Tex gave him the news on his deathbed, Fuller agreed to go to Arlington, but with only one condition.
“My final ride has to be on the back of your motorcycle all the way to Arlington. I said, ‘You got it.’ Jim Fuller died the next day at 6 a.m. the next morning,” Tex said.
Fuller had always been afraid of riding a motorcycle. Yet, he chose his last ride to be on the back of Tex’s motorcycle going across the country.
The remains of five other veterans also made the trek. They all got a hero's welcome when they got to Arlington. The Virginia State Patrol shut down the interstate and escorted the veterans to their final resting place.
“Jim Fuller now lays to rest in Arlington National Cemetery,” said Tex. “He was my best friend. Anytime I speak about him. It’s emotional. He will never be forgotten.”
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