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Neighbors, Veterans Honor One of Their Own

Roland Lizotte didn’t have any family on Molokai, so when he died on Nov. 18, it was his neighbors at Home Pumehana who were by his side. When he was buried last Saturday, it was in a coffin built by member of a local veterans group, in honor of a fellow solider.

that’s what we’re called – Veterans Caring for Veterans,” said Commander Larry Helm, noting if they hadn’t gotten involved, Lizotte could still be at the hospital morgue.

Lizotte was buried at a small ceremony on Saturday at the Ho`olehua Veteran’s Cemetery. The honor guard preformed a gun salute and presented Dickson with the folded American flag in his honor. 

Though Lizotte had stopped by the veterans center in town once or twice, no one there knew him personally. That, Helm said, is not the point. The group was merely filling a void – one, he added, that will continue to grow with the U.S. fighting two foreign wars.

“Our military is stretched and therefore the promise from the government that each solider or veteran be properly buried… is slowly being eroded.”

For Dickson, caring for Lizotte in his last days was a way to pay tribute to her friend.

“I was so honored and blessed.”

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