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The Joe Young experience.

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HOMELESS VETERANS DIE HOPING AND WAITING FOR HELP

In memory of: JOE YOUNG, USAF VETERAN

Died and commended

to the arms of his Creator

on Christmas Eve 2004

 

Vietnam Vet Freezes To Death Christmas Eve
New Media Producer: Kerry Corum  14wfie.com

 

A Vietnam veteran who froze to death alone beneath a railroad bridge on Christmas Eve has been remembered in Covington, Kentucky.

 

Fifty-seven-year-old Joe Young died in single-digit cold a few blocks from a shelter where he had previously stayed and a few days before he was to move into an apartment that had been arranged for him.

 

The Reverend Gregg Anderson of the "Seventy-by-Seven Evangelistic Ministry" in Highland Heights called Young's death a sad event.

 

As word of Young's death spread, friends and strangers contributed a total of $2100 to make sure he had a decent send-off.

 

After Friday's funeral, mourners walked to a street corner where a military honor guard fired a 21-gun salute to Young, an Air Force veteran.

 

The final stop in the ceremony was the spot where Young died. The mourners picked their way down concrete stairs, through an overgrowth of foliage and down a steep embankment to the underside of the bridge, where Young had a campsite along the railroad tracks.

 

Larry Schuler of the Recovery Network of Covington, a homeless advocacy group, poured Young's ashes from an urn onto the ground that he had called home.

 

Schular said, "Joe, you're gone but you're not forgotten." Schuler then walked over to Young's friend, William "Red Dog" Strutz, who is also homeless.

 

He told him to find a warm place to stay for the night and come and see him the next day.

 

Schuler added, "I don't want you to be the next Joe Young."