Coroner offers to help pay for burial of homeless South Carolina veteran

Coroner offers to help pay for burial of homeless South Carolina veteran
File photo. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

LEXINGTON, S.C. — A South Carolina coroner says that if the body of a homeless veteran isn't claimed, then she will help get him cremated and buried.

The body of 69-year-old Dennis Reidy was found Tuesday in the corner of a park in Lexington. Coroner Margaret Fisher tells WYFF-TV that Reidy was found in "a type of garage storage box" wearing a South Carolina Gamecocks jacket.

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Since Tuesday, Fisher has learned that Reidy was a Vietnam War veteran, a Richland County deputy for more than 10 years and a University of South Carolina graduate.

The circumstances of his death "just broke my heart," Fisher said with tears in her eyes.

"When you give up your life and your family and everything that you have to go out and serve your country, they deserve everything that they need when they get back," she said. "They deserve health care. They deserve shelter. They deserve everything that we can do for them as a country because they went out and protected us."

Fisher says she will help with his cremation and burial at Fort Jackson National Cemetery if his remains aren't claimed.

The park where Reidy's body was found is a short walk from a shelter for homeless veterans.