RV Park Takes Lead in Honoring Vietnam Vet

September 16, 2011 by   - () Leave a Comment

Most of the mourners at a memorial service for a Vietnam veteran Thursday (Sept. 15) in Florida never got the chance to meet him.

“We tried desperately to find family, a relative, even a cousin — anyone who would say that they knew him,” Conrad & Thompson Funeral Home representative Teresa Beverly said. “There was no one.”

The man in the casket was Leroy Sprouse, 62, a Marine who served in Vietnam and worked as a custodian at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla.

Sprouse lived at a Kissimmee RV park and died of natural causes three weeks ago, WESH-TV, Orlando, reported.

When park managers tried to notify next of kin, they came up empty.

“He had no past, you know,” Orange Grove Campground representative Amy Allusi said. “We can’t connect him to anybody.”

The park learned of the Silent Heroes Burial Program offered by a local funeral home and several veterans’ groups. They arranged for a memorial service and a motorcade to Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell.

“I just can’t imagine anyone not having someone,” Beverly said. “We hope he would be pleased. That’s our goal to honor him today.”

Sprouse’s neighbors said he wasn’t completely alone. He had friends at the RV park and one constant companion in the form of a dog named Linda.

A member of the park staff adopted the dog, which will be a reminder of the quiet, friendly resident who served his country.


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