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Winchester community helps Vietnam veteran receive military burial at Camp Nelson

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 4:42 PM EDT
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NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (WKYT) - After help from the community, a Clark County family was able to raise the funds needed to give a Vietnam veteran the goodbye he deserves. But the family said they didn’t get enough help from the obvious source—the VA.

Charles “Rocky” Johnson served in the Navy during the Vietnam War. Now, he’s getting the military burial he deserves.

Friends and family said goodbye to a hero and said thank you to the non-profit organization the Rolling Thunder as Johnson was escorted to his final resting place at Camp Nelson Cemetery.

Johnson served in the Navy from 1972-1978. But when his health declined, his family said his VA benefits didn’t come through, leaving them in a tough financial situation.

Then last week he died of a heart attack, and they couldn’t pay for a proper burial. It’s a problem Johnson’s brother-in-law said affects veterans throughout the commonwealth, and the nation.

“We went out and sacrificed our lives for this country, they should be able to repay every veteran by at least having some funds set up to help with burial expenses for the ones that don’t have the money,” said Brian Amburgey.

But the community of Winchester gathered funds, raising $3,500 to bring the hero to his final resting place.

“I didn’t know that there was so much people in Winchester that really cared. They’re doing stuff that I could see in my eyes I thought were impossible,” said Lois Joseph Johnson, Charles’ wife.

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