Full military honors for homeless vet who froze to death

Jerry Jackson, the homeless veteran who froze to death last month in Indian Mounds Park in Saint Paul will get full military honors when he’s laid to rest at Fort Snelling National Cemetery on Thursday, courtesy of a Saint Paul funeral home.

Pioneer Press reporter Mara Gottfried is largely responsible for Jackson’s story not fading away after his body was found.

When I mentioned the story last week, I noted Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, where Jackson had been a parishioner, was trying to put something together to honor him.

Pastor Brian Scoles contacted a Saint Paul funeral home, which moved quickly to arrange a proper burial for the former Marine.

“Jerry’s story could be seen as emblematic for the way we treat our veterans and the way they all too often slip through the cracks, but Jerry wasn’t an emblem, he was a person—a veteran—he was someone who served his country and someone who mattered to the people of our neighborhood. We just couldn’t let that go unrecognized. It was…it was just the right thing to do,” Mueller Memorial owner Scott Mueller wrote on the company’s blog.

Pastor Scoles connected Mueller with Jerry’s next of kin, a brother who lives outstate, and was able to gain permission to proceed with planning Jerry’s funeral.

Mueller’s staff set to work. Thorough some investigating, and with the help of federal and county veteran’s associations, they were able to secure Jackson’s interment in Fort Snelling National Cemetery with military honors.

The services for Jackson will be held at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church on Thursday with visitation at 12:30pm, Memorial Service at 1:00pm. He will be buried at the cemetery at 2:30 p.m.

The funeral home is picking up the tab.