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A relatively anonymous victim of COVID-19 buried with the help of veterans who never knew him

A memorial service held for an elderly homeless veteran reminded participants that veterans need not take their final journey alone.

DENVER — He died alone. 

Raymond Charles Roy, 85, was such an anonymous soul than when strangers met Thursday to honor Roy’s life and his military service, they did so without a picture.

“All I know is that he was born in 1935, but I don’t know where,” confessed Romero Family Funeral Home General Manager Paul Acuna. Roy served in the Marines between 1953 and 1955, but Acuna couldn’t say if he actually served in Korea during the war.

“I do know that he was honorably discharged, and that’s why we’re here today,” said Acuna.

During Thursday’s memorial service, Acuna told those in attendance Roy died of COVID-19.

“He was homeless,” he said. “It breaks my heart that he died alone.  It really does.”

Among those in the modest-sized audience was Leroy Gomez who also served in the Marines.

“I’ll be a Marine until I die,” he said. “It was my duty to be out here today to support my fellow Marine.”

Shortly after the memorial service, Roy’s casket was delivered to Ft. Logan National Cemetery where he was buried with military honors.

“I’m hoping [Roy] is looking down and smiles as he says these are my comrades who are honoring me,” said Acuna.

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