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Military Burials Delayed

February 7th, 2020 by Mike Vasilinda

If you are a military veteran dreaming of being buried at Arlington Nation Cemetery, expect delays getting to your final resting place.

The family of one Tallahassee woman has been waiting twice as long as the cemetery web site suggests.

Retired Air Force Colonel Pete Ballas was buried at Arlington Nation Cemetery after his 2012 death.

His wife, Sandy passed last February.

Now a year later, her cremains have just been scheduled for an April 15th burial beside her husband.

“It’s very unnerving,” said Funeral Director Susie Mozolic.

But it wasn’t until this week the family and funeral home were notified of the date.

“I think it is disrespectful, because again, we’re putting that family on hold when they are trying to complete a chapter,” said Mozolic.

Arlington acknowledges that the burial of cremains are not as high a priority as a casket remains.

The families’ son told us he’s not as troubled with the delay but with the lack of communication from the cemetery.

It has been virtually non-existent.

“But, I just think not being assigned to a scheduler for almost a year is just too much,” said Mozolic.

A 2019 Inspectors General report said families can expect a wait six to 49 weeks.

This one will be 60 weeks and the waits are only expected to get longer as more and more baby boomers die.

Arlington is expected to change the standards for burial there later this year, which means regional national cemeteries scattered across the country will have to handle the overload and perhaps dash some dreams.

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