Homeless veteran who died in South Carolina to get burial with full military honors

 
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Homeless veteran who died in South Carolina to get burial with full military honors

The State newspaper in South Carolina has been all over this story from the start, with articles like this one:

He was wearing a “Gamecocks” jacket the day he was found dead, lying in a box that the county coroner described as a “storage box.”

“It just broke my heart,” said Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher, in an interview with WIS 10. “When you give up your life and your family and everything that you have to go out and serve your country, they deserve everything that they need when they get back.”

But no one has claimed the body of 69-year-old Dennis E. Reidy, who was found Jan. 23 in a wooded area off Chariot Street in Lexington County.

Fisher said an autopsy performed Wednesday revealed Reidy died of natural circumstances. At the time, she identified Reidy as a homeless U.S. veteran, who “appeared to have been staying in a makeshift shelter in the wooded area where he was discovered.”

Well, now thanks to local Legion involvement, Mr. Reidy will be buried with full honors:

The funeral will take place at noon on Feb. 23, at Fort Jackson National Cemetery, according to Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher.

No one claimed the body of 69-year-old Reidy, who was found Jan. 23 in a wooded area off Chariot Street in Lexington County. Fisher said that “just broke my heart.”

With the help of Fisher’s involvement, Reidy will be honored.

“Reidy will receive the posthumous respect that he earned through his sacrifice for our nation,” Fisher said in a news release, where she thanked Steve Goulet of American Legion Post 193 for being instrumental in coordinating the funeral arrangements.

“The outpouring of concern and generosity regarding Mr. Reidy has been tremendous,” said Fisher, who encourages the public to attend to pay respect to Reidy as he is laid to rest.

Recently I went to the funeral of a veteran here in Indy that no one from the family claimed, and it was inspirational.  They actually had to change venues the day before because the veterans community came up big.  So, for anyone in the SC (or GA or NC) region who might be able to make it, I would encourage you to attend. 

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Thanks to Legion Post 193 for stepping up to provide a dignified closing to what is otherwise a tragic story.

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.