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Mom fights to be buried with soldier son

WASHINGTON – Denise Anderson lost her only son in the Iraq war. She's determined not to lose her fight to be buried with him in a national veterans cemetery.

Army Spc. Corey Shea died Nov. 12, 2008, in Mosul, with one about a month left on his tour of duty in Iraq. He was buried at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne, about 50 miles from his hometown of Mansfield, Mass.

A grieving Anderson, 42, soon hit an obstacle in her quest to be buried in the same plot with her son. That chance is offered only to the spouses or children of dead veterans; Corey Shea was 21, single and childless.

I honestly dont feel it is her right or place to be. If they let her then later how many children and wives wont get to because the dead veterans mom took it?


Asked by Mrs.Owen86 at 9:54 PM on Dec. 28, 2009 in Politics & Current Events

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Answers (20)
  • Ugh. I don't understand it. The kid was young, chances are mom has another 20+ years. She may change her mind and decide she wants to be buried next to her DH or cremated. I feel sorry for her, but it seems bizarrely obsessive.

    Answer by MunchMunch at 9:49 AM on Dec. 29, 2009

  • Mrs.Owen86

    Answer by Mrs.Owen86 at 9:54 PM on Dec. 28, 2009

  • If she wanted to be buried with her son, couldn't she have had HIM buried elsewhere?


    Answer by sweet-a-kins at 9:55 PM on Dec. 28, 2009

  • That's what I was thinking sweet-a-kins, exactly. She CAN be burried with him, but not in the Veteran's cemetary. End of problem.

    Answer by Pnukey at 9:59 PM on Dec. 28, 2009

  • Yes, sweet, she could have. I think it would have cost her money for the plots (his and hers). I can't exactly remember how it went when DH's father passed away but he could have had a military ceremony and have it cost almost nothing, but his wife of 2 years decided that she wanted him buried in a particular cemetery regardless of his last wishes. I think the military had someone come out and play Taps on the horn, but that's the extent of what the military did for him since his wife had changed the final plans.

    I wasn't involved in the final plans at all so I don't know the details, but yes, I believe she could have had him buried elsewhere.


    Answer by QuinnMae at 10:02 PM on Dec. 28, 2009

  • Why not bury him elsewhere? Then she could call all the shots and make all the plans herself-


    Answer by Sisteract at 10:04 PM on Dec. 28, 2009

  • Quinn that is awful! Why would she go against his LAST wishes!! That is just terrible!!



    Answer by sweet-a-kins at 10:08 PM on Dec. 28, 2009

  • Well, it's a strange story and I won't go into the details, but to make it short, she was Catholic and didn't believe in cremation. He was in the Navy and wanted to be cremated and scattered at sea. His kids were willing to pay for cremation because it was what he wanted and they knew that his wife wasn't made of money like she let everyone to believe. Their father was on a vent for over a year before he passed and she refused to let the Dr.'s and the nurses tell any of the kids about his condition (keep in mind the kids are all 40ish) because she thought they were trying to kill him. I think she had delusions, I really don't know. She was a little off, that the best way I can describe her. Nice, just a little off. But when it came down to final arrangements, it was all about her and nothing about him. It was really sad that she wouldn't honor his final requests.


    Answer by QuinnMae at 10:16 PM on Dec. 28, 2009

  • ahhh, sorry. I guess I did sort of go into details.

    Answer by QuinnMae at 10:17 PM on Dec. 28, 2009

  • Actually, in most veteran cemeteries, when a spouse is buried with their vet, they are buried in the SAME plot, because they are running out of room (this has been going on since way before the current wars, btw.) If you go to, say, Arlington, and look at the graves, you'll see that it's been decades since spouses got their own plots.

    Same with children, though I believe it's minor children that can be buried this way, not adult children.

    My dh's grandmother (they weren't military, but did this anyway) was buried with her husband. She was cremated and her ashes were interred in a small box buried above his casket.

    I'm a Vet, and I'm a military wife, and my oldest (who turns 17 next week) is 99% sure he wants to join the military. I feel her pain, but if she wanted to be buried with him, then she should have chosen a different location.


    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 10:19 PM on Dec. 28, 2009