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About Homelessness

Homeless Veteran Honored In Death

Guards at Willamette National Cemetery. (Photo by DeadManTalking, Flickr)

From OPB News:

Not much is known about Stevenson Roy. He was born 60 years ago in Montgomery, Alabama. He served in Vietnam and was honorably discharged. Dozens of people visited the Willamette National Cemetery on Wednesday to pay their respects to the homeless Portland veteran. Roy lived on the streets of Portland and died last month.

Doug McCleary volunteered to lead the service.

“What went through my mind was, how do we honor this man? How do we honor a man who has like I said, fallen through the cracks, but served his country for 11 years? And served faithfully, and yet nothings doing. So…I brought in a spiritual element as you can tell by talking about Jesus and his love for the poor and the homeless, which I think is appropriate, regardless of anybody’s religious background. But also tried to speak as much as I could about his service,” said McCleary.

Roy’s funeral was organized by the ‘Dignity Memorial’ network of funeral homes. Nationwide, it was the group’s one thousandth such service. The network estimates 67,000 veterans are homeless in the U.S. on any given night.