THUMBS UP to the late Paul McKinstry. McKinstry, 66, was laid to rest Wednesday at Fort Gibson National Cemetery. 

Several dozen veterans gathered around the National Cemetery committal shelter, many standing in the cold morning air, to honor McKinstry, an Army National Guard medic and veteran.

Representatives of the American Legion folded the American flag over the Paul McKinstry’s urn as he was honored for serving other veterans.

McKinstry spent part of his life homeless. Upon overcoming his situation, he vowed to take care of homeless veterans. A member of American Legion Post 15, McKinstry hosted the annual Hotdogs and Heroes picnics.

One of his final acts before he died was to host a clothing giveaway for veterans and others in need.

At a time when all eyes are on the United States, we are proud to see that Muskogee has honored a man who loved and was truly dedicated to his country.

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THUMBS UP to Muskogee Police Officer Jordy Woolsey for showing compassion for Muskogee's homeless.

Jennifer Keylon, who recently found herself homeless, said she appreciates that.

Keylon said she had been homeless “off and on since August” and wrecked her vehicle in early November.

“That kind of snowballed,” she said. 

Keylon, her boyfriend and her dog were staying in a vacant motel, but had to flee after it caught fire. Woolsey checked on them the following day.

“I let them know ‘I’m not here to bother you, just want to make sure you’re OK,’” Woolsey said.

Keylon said Woolsey checked on them again around Christmas Eve and brought them a bag full of snacks and drinks and a bag of toiletries, as well as socks, stocking caps, gloves and scarves. Three days later, Woolsey and his partner brought cheeseburgers, fries and drinks, she said.

Woolsey said he encounters many homeless people on his beat, often 10 to 15 people a day.

Any of us could end up in Keylon's shoes. Many people are a paycheck away from being homeless. We should all show more compassion to those less fortunate.

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