When Historic City News reported the January 17, 2020 funeral for US Army veteran John Meade Jr at the National Cemetery in Jacksonville, we were sure that would be the end of the story, and we were wrong. After nothing short of a two-week manhunt by the St Augustine Police Department came up with nothing except that Meade died homeless and alone, it appeared certain that the discovery he was an honorably discharged veteran was all that could be learned about the mystery man.
But the ending would not be without an epilog. Officer Steven Fischer with the St. Augustine Police Department, who found out that Meade was a veteran and that he was honorably discharged, got some unexpected good new this week when he was contacted by Miracle Messages; a non-profit search firm in California. After dozens of additional calls and some detective work of their own, Miracle Messages was able to determine that Meade had a living cousin.
Searchers were able to identify and locate Meade’s cousin, James Couture who lives in Boston. He hasn’t seen his cousin since they were teenagers; however, Couture thinks his cousin would be happy with how things turned out. Couture says he is grateful that so many people came together for his cousin, and now, for him.
“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.”
Although his biological family didn’t make it to the January funeral in Jacksonville, there was still a family atmosphere. While many people didn’t know much about Meade, Fischer said he hoped Meade would never be forgotten; and thanks to the latest news, he may get his wish.
“People like yourself and others that cared, it’s a beautiful thing,” said James Couture. “Everyone has done so much, it’s just overwhelming, it really is. John is looking down with a smile at you and everybody else.”