Community effort allows for unclaimed vet's proper burial

LEXINGTON, SC (WIS) - Numerous veterans groups and Midlands businesses are coming together to ensure the homeless veteran who died in a Lexington park is given a proper burial.

69-year-old Dennis Reidy was found in a makeshift shelter within walking distance of a shelter that helps homeless veterans. So far, no one has claimed him, according to the coroner. However, the American Legion and several local businesses are working together to provide a burial service for Reidy.

"We have members of the legion along with businesses in the community who come together to ensure these veterans are given the full honors they deserve," Richard Strobel, who previously served as commander of American Legion Post 193, said.

American Legion Post 193 has started a Veterans Burial Fund, allowing members of the public to make monetary donations to help with services like Reidy's.

"There's really been an awakening of people wanting to help out when it comes to this," Strobel said. "We couldn't be more thankful."

One of those businesses is Lake Murray Flower Shop, which provides flower arrangements or wreaths for burial sites.

"It is truly an honor to be able to do this for our veterans," Beryl McCormack, a floral designer at the shop, said. "My dad was a veteran and so is the father of the owner of the shop, so we take special pride in being able to be a part of this," she said.

A bill in 2013 passed by the state legislature allows any veteran group to claim a deceased veteran if no family steps forward. Strobel said the American Legion will claim Reidy if no one steps forward.

No date has been set yet for Reidy's service, which will take place at Fort Jackson National Cemetery.

Any monetary donations meant for the Veterans Burial Fund can be mailed to the following address:

American Legion Post 193

P.O. Box 897

Chapin, SC 29036

If you see someone in need of shelter or medical attention, contact local authorities.

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