Local Vietnam veteran honored with final ride to Florence National Cemetery

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - The life of a local Vietnam veteran was honored Friday - on his final ride to Florence National Cemetery.

Sheldon Shepherd served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. He's described as an outdoorsman and animal lover.

He passed away in his Conway home last month and was escorted by friends, family, and the Combat Veteran's Motorcycle Association on Friday

Shepherd received a purple heart and two bronze stars for valor.

"He never talked about it much, never bragged about it," said Richard Caruso, who said he considered Shepherd to be like a brother.

"A tough guy. He wouldn't take any mess but he had a heart of gold. He'd give you the shirt off his back," he continued.

After being honorably discharged from the military, Shepherd focused on helping others. He opened The Shepherd's Center, an addiction treatment center in Conway.

Friends who signed an online guestbook left messages for Shepherd, including, "You have been helping so many. Thank you for doing God's work," and "Sheldon, you always made me feel that you cared so much."

Shepherd's service was handled by The Goldfinch Funeral Home, who say memorial donations can be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or to Horry County Animal Care Center, 1923 Industrial Park Rd., Conway, SC 29527.

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