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Mother of Fallen Soldier Looks to Make Her Wish a Reality

October 12, 2009

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Mother of Fallen Soldier Looks to Make Her Wish a Reality

Nearly one year after the death of her soldier son in Iraq, a Massachusetts mother has been denied a request to be buried next to him at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne when she passes.

Denise Anderson told us she comes to the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne two or three times a week, making the drive from Mansfield to see her son.

She hopes to join him here one day.

Simply put – when she dies, the mother of Army Specialist Corey Shea, an American soldier killed last year in Iraq – wants to be buried in the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne at her son’s side.

But as of now, Denise Anderson’s request has been denied – only children and spouses of the military can be interred with them in national cemeteries – even young members of the military like her son who never got a chance to get married or have kids.

So she went to Washington to plead her case, testifying Thursday at a hearing of a subcommittee of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, enlisting the help of Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank in trying to get a change to House Resolution 761.

Anderson spoke to us by phone from our nation’s capital.

“He didn’t get a chance to grow up and live his life. He was only 21. My son was working, he was working over in Iraq for our country, defending our country so. Anybody can do what they can do today, for our freedom,” Anderson said.

It was November 12 of last year when Specialist Corey Shea was shot to death by a renegade Iraqi soldier.

Shea was just 21.

The 2005 Mansfield High School graduate was remembered by his hometown, and eulogized by his sister.

“Even in these times of mourning, I feel his spirit as though he is around me. As though he’s telling me everything will be ok. He will never be forgotten,” Kristin Anderson said last November.

“The ultimate sacrifice. He gave his life for this country. Everyday when I get up, I sacrifice my life too because I don’t have him in my life anymore. So, it hurts me everyday. So I think I sacrifice something and I think I deserve to be buried with him,” Denise Anderson said.

She is now a member of the ladies’ auxiliary at VFW Post 3264 in Mansfield, where there is a memorial for her son, and where she has been discussing a change to the law with the support of veterans such as Commander Jim Morrissey.

“I think there should be exceptions, should be allowed on a case by case basis,” Morrissey said.

Next month, on November 8, there will be a mass to commemorate her son’s life at St. Mary’s Church in Mansfield, the place where his funeral was held.

The next step for this resolution is that it would have to go through the Veterans Affairs Committee, the full House, the Senate, then be signed by President Obama.