Wednesday, January 25, 2012

While you go about your Wednesday, a Veteran is being laid to rest

From the Oregonian:
Burial for indigent Navy veteran scheduled for Willamette National Cemetery on Wednesday

Per the story above, today Navy veteran Stevenson L. Roy will be the 1,000th person buried under the Dignity Memorial program, which provides military honors to homeless,indigent veterans.

The Patriot Guard Riders will also be in attendance to stand in honor and respect of PO2 Roy's service to our country.

The  funeral director in the story above says she "knows little about" Mr. Roy's life or death, and the medical examiner's office investigator offered that Mr. Roy died "in a Section 8 apt where he lived a very Spartan existence", and the only other information shared about him were his years of service and his medals received.

While hearing this story makes me sad  that at the end of his life so little was known about this veteran, I disagree with a commenter on the story who seemed to scoff at the idea of the burial program..I'm glad that this program is in place to pay last respects and honor those who have served, who have for one reason or another come to the ending of their lives with no one left to remember or honor them .

And I also feel that rather than scoff at a program like the Dignity Memorial program? If you think something should be done for our veterans prior to their story ending with a funeral for a homeless or indigent veteran? there are a myriad of ways for each of us to volunteer to reach out to our veterans.

Short list, the US Dept of Veteran Affairs has a volunteer form  Here
and both the USO and Soldiers Angels also offer volunteer opportunites specifically for our veterans and veteran's hospitals.

If those options don't appeal to you, there's always ways to get involved through your local VFW, the DAV association, the list goes on and on.

'Stand' with the Patriot Guard Riders in your heart today at 1:30 pm while they pay last respects to Stevenson L. Roy on behalf of all of us....and then please consider what you can do after that so the day will come when we don't Need a Dignity Memorial program, because we have remembered and honored our veterans Before their passing, through volunteering to make a difference in whatever way we can.
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UPDATE: There's a nice photoblog and story on MSNBC regarding the funeral HERE
(althugh they listed Mr. Roy as 'homeless' rather than 'indigent', which is one of my pet peeves...do your homework and get the facts...but nevertheless, I liked the gesture of giving the folded flag to the young man in the Civil Air Patrol, in lieu of no family members being left for Mr. Roy.)

Rest in Peace, Sir.





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