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A Marine vet donated his uniform so a hit-and-run victim can be buried in it
Marine Corps veterans Samuel Jackson and Richard Dunn never met, but one Marine uniform will connect them forever.
On Tuesday, Dunn donated his uniform so that Jackson — who died as a result of a hit-and-run on Sunday — could be buried in it with honor, according to the Conshohocken VFW Post 1074 commander, Walt Hartnett.
"He said, 'The uniform just hangs there. I'll go buy another one for when my time comes,'" Hartnett said of Dunn. "He was honored to be able to give it to a Marine."
Jackson, 67, was struck by a car while standing beside his own vehicle about 6:30 p.m. Sunday on the 600 block of Astor Street in Norristown, police said. He was transported to a hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
The driver of the striking vehicle, who was reported to be traveling at high speed, did not stop, according to authorities.
On Wednesday, Norristown police announced that Nemias Perez-Severiano, 31, of the 200 block of East Main Street, was arrested in the case. Perez-Severiano was charged with accidents involving death and related offenses, and was remanded to the Montgomery County prison with bail set at $200,000.
Jackson served in Vietnam in 1970 and 1971 and was honorably discharged as a corporal, according to the Montgomery County Veterans Affairs Office.
He was killed on the 244th birthday of the Marine Corps, and the first day his loved ones woke up without him was Veterans Day.
Dennis Miller, director of the Veterans Affairs Office, said Jackson was a friend of the office who was humble about his service.
Following his death, Jackson's family spoke with Miller about wanting military honors for his funeral, but said they had no idea what had happened to his Marine Corps uniform.
Miller spoke with Hartnett at the Conshohocken post, who then posted to the VFW's Facebook page asking if anyone was willing to donate a uniform "for this fallen comrade."
"It's one of those things. You served, you wore that uniform; for some people, it was probably some of the proudest memories of their life," Hartnett said. "It's just something that they wanted to have happen, and everybody can understand and respect that."
Hartnett was overwhelmed by the offers that poured in — some people wanted to take up collections to buy Jackson a uniform, others wanted to donate their own. People from as far away as Mississippi called to see how they could help.
"The response was amazing," Hartnett said. "I was getting calls from all over."
Hartnett said he accepted Dunn's offer because it was among the first and he was close to Conshohocken.
Dunn was adamant about not wanting recognition for his donation. He had to be persuaded to have his name included in this article.
"I did it because a fallen Marine needed it," he said. "It's just what we do."
Hartnett said he's still looking for a Marine hat and noncommissioned officer belt to go with the uniform, though he's got a couple of leads.
Dunn was not a member of the VFW because he had not served overseas or in a war, Hartnett said, but the post made him a social member following his donation.
Miller, a former commander with the Coast Guard, said he, too, was moved by the uniform donation.
"It's symbolic, it's sentimental, but in a case of crisis like this, it's important," he said.
A viewing will be at Paoli United Methodist Church, 81 Devon Rd., from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, with funeral services beginning at 11. Burial will be at Washington Crossing National Cemetery in Newtown next week.
©2019 The Philadelphia Inquirer. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
A collision between a Coast Guard boat and a Navy vessel near Kodiak Island, Alaska on Wednesday landed six coasties and three sailors to the hospital, officials said.
The Navy has identified the two Defense Department civilians who were killed in a shooting Wednesday at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in Hawaii.
A shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida has left four people dead, including the gunman, law enforcement officials said at a Friday news conference.
The shooter and two victims were killed at the base and another victim died after being taken to the hospital, said Chip Simmons, deputy chief of the Escambia County Sheriff's Office.
Another seven people remain hospitalized, including two sheriff's deputies who engaged the gunman, Simmons said at Friday's news conference. One was hit in the arm and the other was shot in the knee. Both are expected to recover.
Widespread sexism and gender bias in the Marine Corps hasn't stopped hundreds of female Marines from striving for the branch's most dangerous, respected and selective jobs.
Six years after the Pentagon officially opened combat roles to women in 2013, 613 female Marines and sailors now serve in them, according to new data released by the Marine Corps.
"Females are now represented in every previously-restricted occupational field," reads a powerpoint released this month on the Marine Corps Integration Implementation Plan (MCIIP), which notes that 60% of those female Marines and sailors now serving in previously-restricted units joined those units in the past year.
The troubled 22-year-old Pearl Harbor sailor identified as shooting three shipyard workers Wednesday and then killing himself may have come from a troubled ship.
Gabriel Romero, a sailor on the submarine USS Columbia, fatally shot two civilian workers and wounded a third while the Los Angeles-class vessel is in Dry Dock 2 for a two-year overhaul, according to The Associated Press and other sources.
Romero "opened fire on shipyard personnel with his M-4 service rifle and then turned his M9 service pistol on himself," Fox News Pentagon reporter Lucas Tomlinson reported, citing a preliminary incident report.
Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam was not able to provide information Thursday on a report that multiple suicides have occurred on the Columbia.
Hawaii News Now said Romero was undergoing disciplinary review and was enrolled in anger management classes.