Funeral home provides service for homeless Vietnam vet free-of-charge

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ST. LOUIS – A 67-year-old homeless Vietnam veteran died July 23 of cancer here in St. Louis. John Beard was a United States Air Force Sergeant between 1968 and 1971. He later enlisted in the reserves.

Sometime after that, Beard ended up on the streets joining an estimated 39,000 homeless veterans. Over time, he found something that money can’t buy; friends.

Today they plan to show him the respect he deserves.

Michel Funeral Home Director, Calvin Whitaker, joined us on FOX 2 News in the Morning to explain.

The funeral home is donating services for Sergeant Beard. They heard about him and offered to provide his funeral free of charge, including full military honors at Jefferson Barracks. Visitation already took place on July 26th and this morning is the funeral.

The Patriot Guard will take part in escorting Beard from the funeral home to Jefferson Barracks, where he will be laid to rest. Those Michel Funeral Home are asking if you can`t take part in the procession that you show support along the funeral route.

The procession will leave the funeral home around 10:15 a.m. The route will proceed south on Hampton, then go right on Morganford which turns into Union.

They will turn left at Reavis Barracks then on Telegraph Road, en route to Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.