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Kerry, Frank: Congress Enacts Legislation to Allow Parents of Fallen Servicemembers to be Buried With Their Children

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Senator John Kerry and Congressman Barney Frank today released the following statement on the passage of the Corey Shea Act.

The Corey Shea Act would allow eligible parents of a fallen servicemember to be buried with their child in any of the 131 cemeteries run by the VA's National Cemetery Administration, if that child has no living spouse or children.

Kerry introduced the Senate version of the Corey Shea Act in 2009 and Congressman Barney Frank introduced the U.S. House of Representatives version. The Act is named for 21-year-old Army Specialist Corey Shea of Mansfield, who was killed in line the duty in Iraq in November of 2008.

Denise Anderson, SPC Shea's mother, petitioned the Department of Veterans Affairs for the right to be interred with her son at Bourne National Veterans' Cemetery. But currently, under federal law, plots in military cemeteries are reserved for veterans, their spouses and minor children. Given that Corey had neither a spouse nor children, Anderson approached Senator Kerry and Congressman Frank with her plea to be allowed to be buried with her son.

"No parent of a fallen soldier should have to worry about their child being buried alone. I know Corey would be unbelievably proud of his mother for her loving determination to honor his memory and ease the burden for other parents who have suffered this unspeakable loss," said Senator Kerry.

"The disproportion between what this country owes Denise Anderson, a Gold Star Mother, and what she asked for was as large as could be, and I am pleased that we have closed that gap for her and for other families," said Congressman Frank.

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