Until Feb. 20, when Missouri state authorities intervened to help Yvette James get control of her father's remains, James was stuck in a nightmare of red tape. All she wanted was to rightfully fulfill her father’s burial wishes, something she should have legally been allowed to do from the get-go.
It seems Yvette James was wrongly excluded from her father’s burial planning due, in large part, to her own military service. Even though she has the right to make those decisions under state law as the primary next of kin and only child, a funeral home allowed her cousin to make arrangements for the service and burial. This story was told in The Army Times, in an article titled“Soldier fights for right to bury her father.”
The cousin wanted to bury James’ father at a veterans’ cemetery in St. Louis. However, James wants to have her father cremated and buried at Arlington National Cemetery, as she plans to retire in Maryland. As James put it: "Arlington is the ultimate cemetery. My dad was so proud of his service. That's all he talked about. He did four years, and you'd think he did 30. He loved the Marines."