Mother Fighting to be Buried with Son

The VA policy on who can be buried with a fallen veteran in a national veterans cemetery is very simple and strict: the chance is offered only to the spouse or children of dead veterans.

In the past, the VA has granted waivers to allow a fallen soldier’s parent to be buried in the same plot with their soldier son or daughter. The caveat: the parent has to die before their veteran-child. 

Two lawmakers, Rep. Barney Frank and Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass. are supporting the Corey Shea Act. If it is passed, this Act would allow biological or adoptive parents burial rights in the same plot as their veteran-child in any national veterans cemetery. Arlington National Cemetery, however, is not included in this list as it is operated exclusively by the Army. 

The Act would award burial rights to parents of fallen veterans if their veteran sons and/or daughters had: 

  • No living spouses;
  • No minor children; and
  • Been killed in either battle or preparation for battle. 

The VA’s initial concerns were that the VA run cemeteries would run out of spaces for veterans and veterans should be given priority burials. Therefore, the Act was amended to include only biological or adoptive parents being allowed to be buried in a national veterans cemetery. Now it is just a waiting game to see if the Act will become law. Should it become law. It would allow parents to maintain the bond with their veteran-child they did in life.