NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — Marines answered a call from the Conshohocken VFW, stepping up to help with the funeral of Samuel Jackson. The 69-year-old was killed in a hit-and-run outside of his Norristown home Sunday night.
“He went to the Vietnam War when he was 18 years old and came back whole,” said Samuel’s sister, Peggy Jackson.
Nearly 50 years later, Jackson’s body was broken. He was killed on Sunday after being struck by a car in front of his home.
Sunday was also the 244th birthday of the United States Marine Corps.
“My brother’s other family, the Marine family. My God, he loved the Marines,” Peggy Jackson said.
Jackson’s death left his family with a blur of anger, sadness and confusion.
“Everyday there is an obstacle,” Peggy Jackson said.
That includes planning Jackson’s funeral and how to find the dress blues for the proud Marine to be laid to rest in.
“I couldn’t imagine putting anything else on him. I mean, we were going to put a nice suit on him,” Peggy Jackson said.
Fellow veterans had a better idea.
“The outpouring was insane,” said Walt Hartnett, commander of the VFW Post 1074.
The Conshohocken VFW Post 1074 wrote a call to action on its Facebook page, asking for the donation of a uniform.
“I got calls from Mississippi, I got calls from North Carolina,” Hartnett said.
Hours later, pants and a jacket had been donated by a local Marine named Richard Dunn. All that was still needed was a belt, hat and gloves.
But then, as Eyewitness News was there, another donation came in to complete the dress blue set, plus pebbles from the beach of Iwo Jima.
“Those were all mine, I had all of that and I’m more than willing to share it,” said Doug Franks.
Franks is the senior vice commander at the Trappe VFW.
“No one deserves to die like that and he was very proud of his service for very good reason,” Franks said.
Jackson served in the Marines from 1970-71 when he was honorably discharged.
Like the day he returned home from Vietnam, his family is once again proud and thankful.
“Just to know that he is going to be in his military uniform is a blessing,” Peggy Jackson said. “We know that is what he wanted.”
VFW Post 1074 is still accepting monetary donations, which will be gifted to Jackson’s family. If you would like, you can donate here.