Updated: Monday, 22 Oct 2012, 11:11 AM EDT
Published : Thursday, 18 Oct 2012, 11:32 PM EDT
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Sacrifice. That’s what all service men and women are prepared to do when they sign up to serve the country.
Some of the fallen at Fort Custer National Cemetery in Battle Creek, Mich., died while serving their country.
Among the veterans buried there is Michael Anderson.
As the story goes, Anderson is accused of shooting five people and killing Alicia Koehl at Villa Paree Apartment Complex on May 30.
“The person who murdered my wife has been given military honors and is buried in a national cemetery up in Michigan,” Paul Koehl said. “I'm very upset.”
Now, Koehl's husband and two young children visit her gravesite every day.
Paul Koehl said the man who ended his wife's life never should've been buried in the Michigan cemetery. The Koehl family said they’d like to see Anderson’s body disinterred.
“I am extremely upset by the fact that he has been buried there, which is a violation,” Koehl said.
The crux of the controversy centers on the rules for interment outlined by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The ineligibility guidelines say in part, “Federal officials may not inter in Veterans cemeteries persons who are shown by clear and convincing evidence to have committed a Federal or State capital crime but were unavailable for trial due to death or flight to avoid prosecution.”
Police say Anderson took his own life that day in May.
But somehow, he still he was buried at Fort Custer National Cemetery in Battle Creek, Mich.
“I’ve been told it was a mistake and the (Anderson) family didn't give all the information, or they just lied about information that was asked of them,” Paul Koehl said.
Thursday night, The Department of Veterans Affairs deputy press secretary released the following statement:
"The Department of Veterans Affairs takes seriously its sacred responsibility to honor Veterans and other eligible individuals with final resting places in national shrines.
"VA works closely with funeral directors to ensure that those we will inter have not committed a capital crime which would make them ineligible for interment. In this instance, records show we were informed by the funeral home that no capital crime was committed and VA proceeded with scheduling the internment and burial.
"Cemetery officials at Fort Custer National Cemetery in Battle Creek, Michigan found out about the crime in Indianapolis only after the interment was complete. VA is reviewing this matter.
"VA sends its deepest condolences to the Koehl family and all those affected by this tragedy.”
Whatever the case, Paul Koehl doesn't want it to happen to anyone else. He knows first hand, burying someone you love is hard.
“I was not prepared to be a single parent, so it is very challenging,” he said while overlooking his wife’s grave. “I’m not afraid to tell anybody, I miss her cooking every day.”
Opinions that are derogatory, attack other users or are offensive in nature may be removed. WTHI is not responsible for the content posted in this comment section. We reserve the right to remove any offensive or off-topic remark or thread. To mark a comment for review by a moderator, click "Report Abuse."