Daughter blames government for holding up her father's burial

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by Crystal Cruz

azfamily.com

Posted on January 23, 2013 at 11:00 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 23 at 11:20 PM

PHOENIX -- Maurice Armand Soucy died in 2006.

All these years later, Soucy’s ashes still haven't been laid to rest.

“I love him being here.  But I know he deserves to be honored properly,” said Soucy’s daughter, Joyce Rankin.

Rankin blames the government for holding up her dad's burial.

She would like his final resting place to be at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona in Phoenix.

After all, he served in the Army in the late 1940’s.

“I'm sad. I know I can't keep hanging onto him here. It bothers me that I'm going through his service over and over again.  I just feel like I got to give him a resting place,” said Rankin.

There's just one problem.

The government doesn't have a record of her dad's time in the service.

When she went digging for answers she was sent a letter in the mail.

Part of it reads “… the fire destroyed the major portion of records of Army military personnel from 1912-1959.”

Soucy’s service file was lost in a fire at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis in 1973.

Rankin said her dad's discharge papers were stolen in a home burglary years ago.

Now she has no way of proving her dad served in the military.

So she's been hanging onto the ashes for four years.

She's not alone.

Toby Trickel is dealing with the same problem with his mother’s ashes.

“I felt for him when I was watching the news last night.  I really felt his anguish and his pain,” said Rankin.

She saw Trickel on 3TV Tuesday night.

“I think it's a disgrace for a veteran to have to sit in a box and decide where and if she's going to be buried or not,” said Trickel.

The day after Trickel's story aired he called 3TV.

Trickel said a spokesperson with the Department of Veterans Affairs found his mother's service record.

Viola May Carr will be laid to rest at the National Memorial Cemetery later this month.

Rankin can only hope her dad's burial is next.

“I hope to see something come of it but it's been what four years and I'm still trying to get my dad and lay him to rest,” she said.

3TV reached out to Senator John McCain and Senator Jeff Flake’s offices. As of air time we didn't hear back from them.

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