Donnie Loneman loved being a Marine. He loved it so much that his dying wish was to be buried in uniform along with a Marine Corps flag. Loneman, who had been homeless for about 10 years, was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
As Loneman explained to Tulsa station KOTV at an event for homeless veterans last October, he had given everything up in order to care for his mother in her final days.
At the time of the event, he said he was spending cold nights on freeway overpasses and under trees.
Christine Cleary with the Oklahoma City Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center who spent time with Loneman before he died said he had a “good heart” and a “great sense of humor.”
“Donnie was his own person. He did what he wanted, and a lot of people fell in love with him for that,” she told KOCO, adding, “We get guys like him once in a blue moon, who really make a difference for everyone here.”
The Oklahoma City VA and several other veteran’s organizations honored his dying wish by providing a dress uniform since he couldn’t afford to buy one. They also provided the flag he’d hoped for, covered his funeral costs, and gave him an honor guard.
“He said, ‘I’m going to enter the gates, and I’m going to tell all the Marines that are standing there that they’re relieved of their duty, and I’m going to take their place, and I’ll stand there until my arm gets tired, and another Marine comes,’” Cleary told the station. “He said ‘I’m ready to go.’”
Share this heartwarming story of love and honor.