58-year-old Marine veteran Jerry Jerome Jackson died in a manner that no human ever should. Suffering from mental illness and alone, with nothing more than a makeshift shelter between him and a bitterly cold Minnesota winter, the man froze to death.

But the community of St. Paul refused to let such a sad end be the final act to define the veteran. Instead, a local funeral home offered to perform his service free of charge. Jackson’s church provided the music and a moving memorial. And the military buried Jackson with full honors at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis, complete with a 21-gun salute from the United States Marine Corps Honor Guard.

Jerry Jerome Jackson may have endured years as one of the many lost veterans who exist on the fringes. But he will never be forgotten.


The story doesn’t have to end here.

Let’s continue on with the act of kindness that the citizens of St. Paul performed for Jerry. Donate todayto make a difference in the lives of veterans across the United States. The nonprofit organization┬áVeterans Matter seamlessly integrates the VA & HUD with local communities, foundations, corporations, and veterans groups to channel their support exclusively, directly and immediately to move local chronically-homeless veterans off the streets and into readily available, permanent, supported housing. Once housed, the VA’s case managers then work individually to return the veteran to domestic autonomy.