This afternoon, a homeless veteran who used to hang around St George Street in downtown St. Augustine, and who had no record of a family, received a burial with full military honors thanks to a member of the St. Augustine Police Department.
Patrolman Steven Fischer told Historic City News reporters that when John Meade Jr died a few months ago, no one knew where he was from or any details about him. Fischer said in a televised interview that there was very little information he could find about Meade.
“People SAY they are off the grid, this man WAS off the grid,” said Officer Fischer. “I searched at work, at home, looking for any kind of information about John. There was nothing. I spent at least 80-hours plus trying to find anything about him.”
Fischer found it odd that the man who was such a mystery in death was known to be such a friendly person, a nice person that just about everyone knew in life. So, Fischer kept looking until he found out that John was a veteran and that he was honorably discharged.
“Meade served in the United States Army from 1966-1968,” Fischer said. “It was kind of my mission to make sure that he got what he deserved. John was there for us. We can be there for him.”
David Carni, a local resident who told reporters that he knew John, said, “We are very proud of him. We always enjoyed seeing and waving at him, and he would wave back. He was a part of our town.”
While many people didn’t know much about John, Fischer hopes Meade will never be forgotten. The military send-off was held at 2:00 p.m. today at the National Cemetery in Jacksonville.