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He died without a home or family. Now, an Army veteran will be buried in Fort Jackson cemetery

By BRISTOW MARCHANT | The State | Published: November 29, 2019

COLUMBIA, S.C. (Tribune News Service) — When Daniel Barker passed away in October, the Columbia veteran died without a home or a family.

The Richland County Coroner’s Office searched for nearly two months to locate a family member who could offer the 57-year-old homeless man a proper burial, according to a news release from the Dignity Memorial Homeless Veterans Burial Program. But no one was found.

Because of Barker’s service in the Army 40 years earlier, he is eligible to be buried in Fort Jackson National Cemetery with funding from the burial program.

“It is my honor to use the Dignity Memorial Homeless Veterans Burial Program to provide this Unclaimed Homeless Veteran, PFC Barker, with his final salute,” said William Lynch, chairman of the burial program.

Barker was born in Illinois and enlisted in the Army as soon as he was old enough in 1979. He served for two years before being discharged as a private first class, with badges for his parachute, hand grenade and M16 expertise. He died a week shy of his 58th birthday.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 6, at Fort Jackson. A procession will leave Dunbar Funeral Home’s Devine Street Chapel at 10:30 a.m. with an honor guard provided by the Richland County Sheriff’s Department and the Patriot Guard Riders.

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