KSLA Salutes: A hero’s goodbye, honoring a Vietnam veteran

A hero's goodbye

KEITHVILLE, LA (KSLA) - A decade ago, Donald Dean entered the homeless veteran program at Overton Brooks VA Medical Center (OBVAMC). They helped him reestablish himself and never left his side when his health began to fail.

“We’ve been able to get him nursing services and different things as his health declined,” explained Occupational Therapist, Linda Resendez with OBVAMC Homeless Veterans Program.

Dean volunteered to fight in Vietnam and while he lived his post Army life under the radar, the few who knew him and even complete strangers ensured he received a hero's goodbye.

"I wouldn't want it any other way," expressed Dean's daughter, Bambi Carter, "I'm beyond words, I feel so special and I'm just so happy that everybody was able to recognize my father and appreciate the service he did for our country."

About the time Dean entered the program in Shreveport, it turned out to be the last time he ever saw his daughter.

"It's been 10 years," she said, "I've met my dad 2 times in my entire life, so (it's) bitter-sweet."

Those who cared for Dean tracked her down through Facebook.

"I know there are people that have a heart and can be there for everybody else in the community when nobody else can and it just feels amazing, I'm happy," she said.

Donald Dean was laid to rest on Friday, at the Northwest Louisiana Veterans Cemetery in Keithville.

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