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Ohio, United States
Happily married for lots of years to great guy, mother of one wonderful daughter. I have lots of interests and wished I had more time to explore them all.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Exposure Kills Homeless Veterans

A-Z Day 6 E=Exposure

This incredible picture truly looks like somewhere over the rainbow.  This was taken by Steve Edquist at Ft. Snelling National Cemetery in Minnesota.  A final resting place of honor for our Military. (Thank you Steve for the use of your photo).

Meet Jerome William Jackson, better known as Jerry.  He was a Lance Corporal in the United States Marine Corp from 1975-1978.  This picture is the face of a homeless man, taken in 2005 at The Union Gospel Mission in St. Paul where Jerry lived for awhile off and on after being evicted from public housing.  Sadly, this Marine died of exposure on Feb 21st.  His body was found in a homemade shack in below freezing temperatures in Indian Mounds Park.  This Marine who served his country had schizophrenia, making life difficult for him and sometimes those around him; though he was well liked by those who knew him at Our Saviours' Lutheran Church.

No one should die of the elements, of exposure in this country; and most certainly not a Veteran.  But, it happens.  According to an article by Piper Hoffman of Care2, about 700 Homeless People die every year from exposure.  What a sad statistic that is.

This is a sad story, one of many and one of the reasons we do what we can here on Bridge and Beyond.  Warm hats, scarves, and mittens can save a life.  And so we knit and we crochet and we donate.  This isn't the first post I've written about the death of a homeless person.  Very recently I posted about Michael B. Williams, Jr.

However, this is also a rather heart warming story, as the community came together and took care of arrangements to honor this man, Lance Corporal Jackson.  He was buried at Ft. Snelling with military honors, a 21 gun salute and bag pipes.  Mueller Memorial provided their service for free, and arrangement were made to locate his brother, Don and bring him in for the service.  He was honored to receive the folded flag from his brothers casket.  The brothers hadn't seen each other in several years.   Communications were strained and difficult with the disease and the homelessness.  RIP Jerry.

All donations regardless of size and number are valued. All donations are appreciated. The Power of One is awesome, and when we work together The Power of One becomes The Power of Many.

16 comments:

  1. Thank you for doing Jerrys story Sandy. I was happy you were able to get all the necessary information on our friend Jerry. We have all seen this person whether it is Jerry or someone just like him. You can fill in the name. For anyone who believes that homelessness does not exsist, especially among our vets,this is their story.That we send our boys into battle for our good and then do not support them on their return is unbelieveable to me.This story tears at my heart because he lived and died here in the Twin Cities where I live. But in truth he lives in every city in the US. I have visited Fort Snelling many times and always think of it as a beautiful place for our proud Veterans, it is also a place for men like our friend Jerry who served us well and were not served by us in return.GOD BLESS THE HOMELESS, God bless the veterans, God bless you Sandy and all the people who are trying to help and do what they can and RIP Jerry in your new home in heaven. marj in minnesota/50 degrees

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    1. Thank you Marjoirie for your always thoughtful comments. My Mother, like yours often said, But for the Grace of God Go I, and it really is so very true. I wonder how many others are like Jerry, that we don't hear about, that don't receive these final honors there are.

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  2. Sandy, I read your story on Jerry the homeless Vet. It was sad but it was nice that the brother was able to go to the funeral.Rosemarie

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    1. Yes, you are right Rosemarie sad and bitter sweet all at the same time.

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  3. What a heart breaking story. Bless you and your contributors for doing what you can.

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    1. Thank you Delores for visiting and supporting the cause.

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  4. It is so very sad that so many of our returning servicemen and women can't cope, fall through the cracks between various organisations, and end up homeless.

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    1. It is very sad that our returning Vets don't get the support they so very much need and deserve.

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  5. Thank you Sandy for finding out more on the story of Jerry. God Bless the Homeless. I do feel sorry for all the Vets. They went thru so much for the USA and then for some of them to die homeless, is so awful.
    Thank you again Sandy for starting this wonderful group.

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    1. Thank you Sue for being part of our group here on Bridge and Beyond. It's a sad cause, but we must plung on and do what we can do.

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  6. This was a bitter-sweet story.I'm glad Jerry was honored in the end, and that his brother was able to be there.

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    1. Thank you Shonna for your visit, hope to see you here often on Bridge and Beyond. I wish we could say others finally get the honor they deserve, but I fear in that vane Jerry is most unusual

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  7. I am glad you shared Jerry's story with us, as sad as it was. But so true, one that serves in our military should never been on the street, though sadly I've seen them out there and talked to one a few Fourth of July's ago; long story but I was going into the store, saw a homeless person sitting around the corner, felt directed by God to buy him a sandwich, brought it out with water and he told me his story.

    Glad the community did rally around Jerry upon his death to give him the burial he deserved.

    betty

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    1. betty, please email me details of your story. The more we can educated people about these Vets, the better chance we have of things improving. Thank you for doing what you did, and for your support here with visits and comments.

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  8. Thank you for sharing jerry's story and thank you fro all the work you do to keep others like Jerry warm. It is so wonderful that the community rallied to support his service and I hope every one that was there for that continues to be involved for all of the other Jerry's out there.

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    1. Right you are Doreen, for all of the other Jerry's out there.

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