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Community answers County Coroner’s call to honor unclaimed veteran

Published: Dec. 23, 2020 at 6:16 PM CST
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Forrest M. Dickason was a U.S. Air Force and Korean War veteran. When he passed away, the Laramie County Coroner’s Office tried to find his family, but were unable to. Laramie County Coroner, Rebecca Reid, knowing how special the Cheyenne community is, called for help.

“I made a simple Facebook post on my personal Facebook page and it kind of blew up,” said Reid.

Blew up is an understatement. More than 100 people in the community came out to pay their respects to Dickason Wednesday morning.

“Just seeing all the citizens out, it just makes me so warm knowing that everybody wants to honor a fallen veteran, even if they have no family or they have family here,” said Reid.

For Cheyenne National Cemetery Manager, Greg Smith, seeing this kind of turnout shows how much veterans mean to the Cheyenne community.

“It means that we never let a veteran die alone. It is amazing for the community to come out and the support they gave today,” said Smith.

The Cheyenne National Cemetery was dedicated in early October, and began its burial services in early December. Smith and Reid both said being able to honor veterans like Dickason locally, means a lot.

“Being able to have this cemetery here located in Cheyenne I mean it’s wonderful. I think this shows amazing support for the cemetery itself along with the citizens being able to come out and honor one of their veterans,” said Reid.

Reid said unclaimed veterans don’t come to her office often and Dickason was the first they’ve had in 2020. She said his American Flag, coin and bullet casings from the 21 gun salute, will stay at the Laramie County Coroner’s Office until a family member claims him.

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