Red tape preventing son from burying mom at veterans cemetery

Posted: Updated:
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

QUEEN CREEK, Ariz. -- A Queen Creek man has been trying for weeks to give his mom the proper burial she deserves.

Toby Trickel's mother, Viola Carr, served our country for several years in the 1940s. Carr was in the Navy and at one point lived in Hawaii with her husband, who was also in the service.

"My mother was a good vet," Trickel said. "She served our country well."

His mother died in December at the age of 87.

She wanted her final resting place to be at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona in Phoenix.

But so far Trickel hasn't been able to carry out her wishes.

"It's very unsettling and very heartbreaking for me that I have my mother sitting here," Trickel said. "It seems very disrespectful."

Carr's ashes have been sitting on her son's dining room table for weeks.

When Trickel tried burying her at the cemetery, an employee at the Department of Veterans Affairs told him not so fast.

The department doesn't have a record of his mother's service.

"So Dave from the Department of Veterans Affairs at the memorial said he's going to close the case because they can't find no records at all, I mean nothing," Trickel said.

The frustrated son doesn't understand how this could happen.

Carr was treated at the VA hospital for years.

He's spent hours on the phone and taken stacks of notes hoping to right this wrong, but so far he's gotten nowhere.

"For my mother to sit here (on the dining room table), I feel I've let her down," Trickel said. "Most of all I feel the Department of Navy and Veterans Affairs have let her down."

3TV confirmed Carr was a patient with the VA Health Care System in Phoenix.

She was enrolled in 2002 and her eligibility status was verified when she was registered.

We are told the department is contacting the Veterans Benefits Administration to get Carr's case sorted out.