Vietnam veterans, the Rock Island County coroner, police and others are trying to learn more about the homeless man who was killed early Monday while crossing a Moline street.
They want to know two things: Does he have family and did he really serve in Vietnam?
Robert Moldenhauer, 63, was struck while walking his bike across 6th Avenue at 26th Street shortly before 8 a.m. He was widely recognized in Moline as "The Can Man," because he spent at least a decade living on the streets and using his bicycle to collect aluminum cans and redeem them at a recycling center.
Some who knew Robert said he talked about having served in Vietnam.
Several members of Vietnam Veterans Chapter 299, based in the Illinois Quad-Cities, spent the day Tuesday trying to find a record of his military service. They hope to locate his DD-214, which is a document issued to all veterans upon discharge or disconnection from the military.
Meanwhile, Rock Island County Coroner Brian Gustafson also enlisted help in the search for more information about Robert. He attended his autopsy Tuesday, which showed what he expected it to show: He died from traumatic head injuries.
Gustafson, the Vietnam vets and others who knew Robert want to give him a proper military burial, if he served.
Others in the community also have stepped up, including a Moline pastor who said he would like to be involved with services, saying Robert frequented his church.
Though he had enough money to cover his own burial expenses, others also have come forward to donate to the cost of services and burial. Someone started a Gofundme page, though Moline police warn there is no real need for donations.
Funeral services for Robert are pending at Trimble Funeral and Cremation Center, Moline. Details are expected Wednesday, and a public service is being planned.