About a year ago Jane, who now faces an aggressive form of metastatic cancer daily, and I had a conversation about Jimmy being buried in Catawba County. Jane mentioned to me that since she would now be buried with her husband Fred and their family, she wanted Jimmy to be buried all those years ago with his comrades in Arlington National Cemetery. She shared that the Army never mentioned Arlington as an option.
As the founder of St Michael’s All Airborne Chapter whose mission is to help veterans, paratroopers and their families in western North Carolina who are in need, this seemed like something we could help. As such, I offered to investigate whether Jimmy could be moved onto this hallowed ground.
After working through Army channels, we were told it was possible to intern him in Arlington if Jimmy met all the criteria. All costs of exhumation, casket replacement (if necessary), preparation and transportation to Arlington would be the responsibility of the family. After investigation, we determined that these expenses would exceed $7,000.
While working with the military to obtain approval and obtaining all necessary paperwork, I also contacted the National Dignity Memorial Society, which is the largest provider of funeral, cremation and cemetery services in the United States. and owns the Catawba Memorial Park. After telling the story to a Dignity executive, they offered to pay all the expenses to exhume and move the cape. Deese in Hallowed Ground in Arlington.