PHOENIX – A Phoenix-area Vietnam War veteran was laid to rest on March 30.
Norman Coulter, 83, a well-decorated soldier and veteran of the Vietnam conflict, was a longtime resident of Phoenix. Couter had no one to put him to rest after he passed away in September 2021 in a hospice of natural causes, but even so, more than 100 people showed up at his funeral on March 30 to honor him.
Taps played the serve, as people who have never met, spoken to or even seen a photo of Coulter gathered to remember the man. Those present at the event knew that he had served the country honorably and earned nearly a dozen medals and bars during his career in the United States military.
“I think for anyone who has served our country, it’s important to honor their life,” said Ann O’Brien, a member of the Phoenix City Council. “It’s disappointing to hear that he has fallen on hard times. I wanted him to know that his services were known and had value.”
It was the funeral directors who organized the celebration of life.
“I’m a veteran’s daughter, a WWII veteran. I felt very compelled to do this. I just hope my dad meets [Coulter]“said Ronda Berkey.
Coulter had kept the cremated remains of his wife, who died 11 years ago, with him as he moved from nursing home to nursing home. He was buried with full military honors, his wife at his side.
While Coulter didn’t leave his own family behind, his community didn’t leave him behind.
“Don’t leave anyone behind, and that’s also what’s so touching about this, all of humanity here,” Berkey said.
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