Homeless Marine veteran is laid to rest with full military honors [Video]

Jerry Jackson was a Marine first… homeless second. He died alone – he froze to death in a homemade shack in St. Paul, Minnesota. Jerry suffered from mental illness which drove him to the streets where he spent his final days. But upon hearing of his death, a funeral home provided funeral services free of charge – totaling about $7k. Jerry’s church stepped in and did an incredible memorial. The Marines buried Jerry with full honors and a 21-gun salute. His brother, Don, was overwhelmed. Jerry got a warrior’s send off – one that he earned. I wish his final days had been more pleasant.

photo by Paul Blume / Fox 9 News

From MyFox9.com:

ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) –

It was a farewell to a man who could easily have been forgotten. Jerry Jerome Jackson is a homeless veteran who died alone, frozen, in a makeshift shack tucked into a St. Paul park, just over a mile from Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church.

“Some of us knew Jerry. We were saddened and shocked to hear of his death,” said Pastor Brian Scoles. “Truth be told, his death was tragic. We don’t have to pretend otherwise. Dying homeless in a park during a bitterly cold winter is sad and a tragic way to die.”

The Pioneer Press wrote several articles about Jackson’s death last month, and his story prompted dozens of people to step up to help. A local funeral home donated the funeral services free of charge. His church supplied the music and a beautiful memorial. The military provided full honors at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis, complete with a 21-gun salute from the United States Marine Corps Honor Guard.

“This is overwhelming to me,” said Jerry’s brother, Don Jackson. “It’s overwhelming.”

It took a while, but investigators found Don in Missouri. Don explained that his 58-year old brother suffered from mental health issues, including schizophrenia that drove him to the streets. A veteran himself, Don was so moved to be at his brother’s services. He received the flag from Jerry’s casket as the lone family member in attendance.

For those who knew Jerry Jackson, these are the images they want to remember and cherish — not the images of a man suffering from mental illness and dying alone in the elements, homeless.

“It’s beautiful man,” said Shawn Martinez, a friend of Jerry’s. “It just goes to show there are good-hearted people. It meant something.”

Jerry is now at rest at Fort Snelling National Cemetery. His fellow Marines did not forget him in death… they were there for the send off and to wish him well. It breaks my heart that a good man, who served his country, can die alone like this, in the freezing cold, with nowhere to go. He was there when we needed him and somehow, we weren’t there for Jerry in his hour of need. I’m sure if there is a warrior’s heaven, that Jerry was welcomed with open arms and celebration. It’s not cold there and there is no more pain and sickness. Jerry is finally home.


Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

Terresa Monroe-Hamilton is an editor and writer for Right Wing News. She owns and blogs at NoisyRoom.net. She is a Constitutional Conservative and NoisyRoom focuses on political and national issues of interest to the American public. Terresa is the editor at Trevor Loudon's site, New Zeal - trevorloudon.com. She also does research at KeyWiki.org. You can email Terresa here. NoisyRoom can be found on Facebook and on Twitter.

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