Family of deceased homeless vet finds comfort in his honorable burial

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by JIM DOUGLAS

Bio | Email | Follow: @wfaajdouglas

WFAA

Posted on March 15, 2013 at 7:47 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 15 at 9:28 PM

DALLAS -- If not for a burial program for homeless veterans, they likely have gone unnoticed to paupers' graves.

And if not for the unusual fact that four vets were buried with honors at one time Wednesday at DFW National Cemetery, there would have been no cameras to record their names.

"To my far left is Mr. Edgar Eugene Jordan," the chaplain said to the gathered crowd -- mainly Veterans Affairs workers and Patriot Guard Riders.

The VA could find no relatives; no children or widows to weep for men who served in uniform, but lived in rags.

Chaplain Billy Corn, a lieutenant colonel in the Texas State Guard, read the shortest of eulogies.

"All I know about Edgar's personal history is this: he was born July 1st, 1947. He died January 9th, 2013."

Edgar Jordan’s family saw the story. This is how his son and ex-wife learned what happened to him.

"It was just such a surprise,” Jeanette Berry said. “It was closure."

Jeanette Berry married Ed Jordan after he came home from Vietnam. She said he never talked much about his service there.  

"That's when we got married,” she says, pointing to a yellowing photo. “That was 1974."

She bore him a son. Anthony Jordan grew up and joined the Air Force, like his dad.

But life turned dark after his birth.

Berry said doctors diagnosed Ed Jordan as paranoid schizophrenic. Hallucinations and voices in his head drove the couple apart, and in the mid-90's drove him to the streets.

"We went down to the Stewpot, actually, and found him in line at the Stewpot," she remembered. "And that was 2003."

Berry and her son searched shelters through the years, but never found him again.

They didn't know that a homeless outreach team from Veterans Affairs had found him living under a Dallas bridge in 2005.

"When I was looking for him in 2005, that's when they were getting him off the street," she said.

She doesn't know why the government never found her. But she’s comforted they found Ed, and gave him care until his death from cancer. And she’s comforted to know he received respect in death.

And she cries when she thinks of her son receiving the flag from the casket.

E-mail jdouglas@wfaa.com

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