|From The Oregonian oregonlive.com
Mourning Stevenson L. Roy, a Navy vet who was lost in the system
Published: Wednesday, January 25, 2012, 8:52 PM Updated: Thursday, January 26, 2012, 6:05 AM
By Mike Francis, The Oregonian
Wednesday's funeral service for U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Stevenson L. Roy was missing something.
It had the bugler playing taps, it had the dignified line of Patriot Guard Riders bearing flags, it had the military honor guard, law officers, various staffers for elected officials and it had Brandie Turner, who delivered a gorgeous, a capella rendition of "Amazing Grace" in the committal space at Willamette National Cemetery.
But it didn't have a grieving widow, or daughter, or brother or any relative at all. Instead, the honor guard presented the folded flag to 12-year-old Nick Henry, who attends Rock Creek Middle School in Happy Valley. He was designated as the recipient because he is a member of the Civil Air Patrol and his mother is an executive at Lincoln Memorial Funeral Home, which conducted the service under its Dignity Memorial Homeless Veterans Program for indigent or homeless veterans. Roy was the 1,000 such veteran to be buried in the national program.
Henry said he was "honored" to be asked to receive the flag and the governor's coin.
Not much is known about Roy's life, except that he served in the Navy from 1969 to 1980 and spent at least part of that time in the Vietnam campaign. He received a Good Conduct Award and an honorable discharge. He was born in Montgomery, Ala., in 1951 and died Dec. 16 in a subsidized apartment in the Portland area, a symbol of a national problem.
During last January's point-in-time count, the Housing and Urban Development Department found 67,495 veterans were homeless or in homeless shelters -- and that was 8,834 fewer than were counted the year before. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, who pledged a five-year plan to end homelessness among veterans by 2015, hailed last year's count as "a milestone." (The count found 1,337 vets in shelters or on the streets in Oregon.)
The trail to Roy's funeral started in the Multnomah County Medical Examiner's office. Investigator Tom Chappelle said his office was called when Roy died of natural causes in a Section 8 apartment, where he lived "a very Spartan existence." Investigators knew he was a veteran because he had prescriptions from the Department of Veterans Affairs. When the agency provided Roy's Social Security number, Chappelle learned that Roy sometimes called himself Roy Stevenson and that he apparently had a brother in California. But investigators had only a first name for the brother and what turned out to be a fictitious address. After a week, they turned Roy over to Lincoln Memorial.
Doug McCleary, who presided over Roy's funeral service, said Roy "somehow got lost." But, he said, "his sacrifice and dedication are not lost to us."
|From Dignity Lincoln Memorial Park Cemetery lincolnmemorialpark.com
Homeless Veterans Burial Program provides 1,000th military funeral service
Lincoln Memorial Park, a member of the Dignity Memorial network, recently provided a funeral with full military honors at the Willamette National Cemetery for a homeless Portland, Ore., veteran, the 1,000th burial provided through the Dignity Memorial Homeless Veterans Burial Program.
Petty Naval Officer 2nd Class Stevenson L. Roy, a recently deceased homeless Vietnam veteran, was laid to rest at the Willamette National Cemetery in Portland on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012.
"We are humbled to help provide the military honors that Mr. Roy deserves," said Jean-Cristophe Aubry, market director for the Portland area Dignity Memorial providers. "It is a great privilege to show our community's deep gratitude for veterans like him who have given so much to our country."
The service featured a 21-gun salute, the playing of "Taps" and the folding and presentation of the flag by representatives from the Oregon Honor Guard and the U.S. Navy. Happy Valley Mayor Lori DeRemer spoke during the ceremony as well.
According to the Departments of Housing and Urban Development and Veterans Affairs, approximately 130,000 veterans in the United States experience homelessness in a given year.
"Dignity Memorial providers saw a need in our communities to give veterans a proper and distinguished burial, and we are proud to fulfill that role," said Phil Jacobs, chief marketing officer for Service Corporation International (SCI), which owns the Dignity Memorial brand. "Mr. Roy's funeral service marks 1,000 veterans we have laid to rest through this program, and it speaks volumes about our commitment to providing this service to those who deserve it most."
The Dignity Memorial Homeless Veterans Burial Program has provided military burials and services for homeless and indigent veterans since 2000 and has worked with National Veterans Cemeteries around the country to provide more than 1,000 veterans with the recognition and honor they are due. The program will officially recognize Roy's burial as the 1,000th in its history.
Affiliates of SCI own and operate the Dignity Memorial network of providers and the Homeless Veterans Burial Program, which works with funeral and cemetery providers in 35 metropolitan areas to arrange the preparation of the body, transportation, clothing, casket and coordination of the funeral service. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides the opening and closing of the gravesite, a grave liner, a headstone or marker, a graveside ceremony and burial in a National Cemetery.
The Dignity Memorial Homeless Veterans Burial Program is one of many efforts by the Dignity Memorial network to honor and support our nation's veterans and active military. Other initiatives and programs include the Veterans Planning Guide, the Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall, educational veterans' seminars and special pricing for members of veterans service organizations.
|From KPTV Fox 12 TV Portland kptv.com
Homeless veteran honored with full military burial
Posted: Jan 25, 2012 7:29 PM PST
Updated: Jan 25, 2012 7:32 PM PST
By FOX 12 Staff - email
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -
A homeless Vietnam War veteran who recently died was buried with full military honors this afternoon in Southeast Portland.
Naval Petty Officer 2nd Class Stevenson L. Roy was laid to rest at Willamette National Cemetery. The funeral featured a 21-gun salute and a procession by the Patriot Guard motorcycle riders, as well as a presentation of the American flag by the Oregon Honor Guard.
The ceremony was organized by the Dignity Memorial network. It was the 1,000th funeral service provided by the organization's Homeless Veteran's Burial program.
Copyright 2012 KPTV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.