FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) – A local military veteran says he expects his father, a retired Navy enlisted man who died this year, to be buried at sea soon.
Retired Chief Petty Officer Larry Brown died in April from cancer at age 75. His wish was to be buried at sea, and in August, his family left him at the sea burial facility at Naval Station Mayport near Jacksonville, Florida. However, a backlog has caused a delay in sea burials, according to his son, Art Brown, who also served in the Navy.
The issue garnered attention after 5NEWS aired a story on Nov. 12, in which Brown questioned the delay.
Brown said on Tuesday (Nov. 18) that he since has been in touch with Navy officials, who told him there is no backlog and that his father’s burial might happen by next week. The Springdale resident was told the exact date of the burial is confidential since his father’s remains would be on an active-duty warship. He said officials told him his mother would get a call from the ship’s chaplain when the burial is complete.
Meanwhile, Brown said the office of U.S. Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., contacted him on Tuesday (Nov. 18), seeking permission to intervene on his family’s behalf. Brown said he gave the senator’s staff permission to forward an official letter to him so that he can have his mother sign it, authorizing the senator to act on the family’s behalf in contacting the Navy.
Also on Tuesday (Nov. 18), Boozman sent a statement to 5NEWS, saying the Brown family’s situation “is a perfect example of how we can help cut through the lengthy wait times for our veterans and their families.”
“We want to honor Mr. Brown’s wishes in timely manner and with the permission of family are working with the appropriate agencies to accomplish that,” Boozman said.