When Denise Anderson answered the phone, she was watching TV coverage of shootings at Fort Hood in Texas last week.

“That’s where my son was stationed,” she said.

On Thursday, it will be one year since Anderson’s son, Corey Shea, was killed while serving in Iraq, and she admits the anniversary approaching has been “a little overwhelming.” But she’s also been on a deeply personal campaign since her son’s death.


Under current law, fallen veterans may only have their spouses or minor children buried with them in military cemeteries. Since Shea was unmarried with no family of his own, Anderson contacted Rep. Barney Frank, who filed legislation that would allow parents of fallen soldiers to be buried with their children. The bill — the Corey Shea Act — passed in the House last week, and in the coming days Anderson will send letters to Senate members asking for their support.

“He didn’t have time at life to find a family and experience life itself. ... It’s important to me that he’s not alone there,” said Anderson, 42, whose son is buried at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne.

“I hope I’m helping other families that want to be buried with their children,” she said.

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