Local veteran who died in house fire buried with military honors

Local veteran who died in house fire buried with military honors

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by WCNC.com Staff

WCNC.com

Posted on December 3, 2012 at 1:48 PM

Updated Monday, Dec 3 at 7:16 PM

SALISBURY, N.C. -- A local veteran who died in a house fire was buried with full military honors on Monday.

Sven Erickson was laid to rest at the Salisbury National Cemetery.

The Patriot Guard provided a ride from the VFW on Brenner Avenue to the cemetery at 10:30 a.m.

Eickson died after his home caugh fire on Veterans Day.

Friends say Erickson battled demons including alcohol, cigarettes and a past he didn't bring up much.  Investigators say Erickson was smoking when he had the heart attack and the lit cigarette started part of his house on fire.

One thing Erickson did talk about was his career in the Navy.

Friends say Erickson was once married and had two stepsons.  Years ago he went with a friend to Virginia to see his family, but was told at the front door he wasn’t welcome.  After that, he never talked about his family again.

"We told him since his own family didn't want to deal with him that this neighborhood is his family,” neighbor Laura Smith said.

His body was set to be cremated and put in an urn by the state if not claimed.

Turns out the friend Erickson drove to Virginia found his military discharge papers after Erickson died.

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