Veteran found buried in cardboard box - FOX 13 News

Veteran found buried in cardboard box

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BUSHNELL (FOX 13) -

A discovery at Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell has triggered outrage in Congress.

Maintenance workers exposed a controversy over how some war veterans can be buried.

A veteran of World War II died in 2004 with no loved ones to make funeral arrangements on his behalf. So he was buried in a shallow grave with no casket.

His remains were discovered in the remnants of a cardboard box when workers removed his headstone as part of maintenance work at the cemetery.

The medical examiner sent Davis' remains in a cardboard box, and that's how he was buried. 

We don't know how many others may have been buried the same way. 

"We usually bury the container they come in as long as its sealed," said Veterans Affairs manager Maurice Roan. "We make every effort to make sure they get a dignified burial."

Veterans Affairs manager Maurice Roan said his department goes out of its way to show dignity and respect. Florida National Cemetery holds a special service for all veterans who are buried without family present. Their names are read in a special service that takes place four times each year.

But giving it specific direction to purchase caskets for deceased veterans who arrive without them may take an act of Congress.

"We're not going to treat the veterans of this country that way. We're going to ensure there is a dignified burial," said Florida U.S. Senator Bill Nelson.

Nelson and Florida Senator Marco Rubio are both supporting a new bill called "The Dignified Burial of Veterans Act of 2012." It would require the VA to review its burial standards, and would authorize it to purchase caskets or urns for all veterans in our national cemeteries.

The Chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee is co-sponsoring this bill.

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