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Months after his death, family now has questions about loved one's burial location

The family of Wayman Davis says neither the temporary plaque nor the bronze marker they ordered is at the gravesite
Wayman's Obituary
Posted at 10:49 PM, Nov 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-11 11:07:04-05

INDIANAPOLIS — March was a hard month for Levetta Reed and her family. Wayman Davis, her father, passed away after serving his country in the military and working for more than 30 years at USPS.

"He never missed a single day of work. That's just who my father was," Reed said.

Honoring her father's wishes, Reed and her family laid him to rest at New Crown Cemetery. As in most cases, a temporary marker was put up while the bronze marker for veterans was ordered.


Months passed, however, and Reed's family started to worry after the bronze marker was never placed at her father's grave. On Thursday, they went to New Crown and found the temporary marker was missing as well.

"We went to the office today and she got someone to come out and he couldn't find it. He went way over there. and I told him this is where my dad is buried," Reed said of the frustrating interaction.

She recorded video months ago showing the plot her family selected. That's why she's sure of the location, but having the reassurance from the cemetery, since there's no longer a temporary marker, would have made things better.

"He was everything to us. He deserved better. He was a veteran."

Davis' military service entitles him to a headstone, a burial flag and a Presidential Memorial Certificate from the VA. While those things are free, private cemeteries like New Crown can charge families. They paid $820.83

Price breakdown for expenses related to Waymon Davis' burial
A breakdown of how much Levetta Reed and her family paid for expenses related to burying their father.

"This is not right. You got the check. You got the money. You got everything you needed," Reed said.

After a phone call with New Crown Cemetery, they sent the following statement related to this matter.

“As part of our commitment to all client families, we guard their privacy and do not discuss specific matters with the media. However, all concerns brought forward by the family have been resolved.”

New Crown Cemetery

"If all my issues were resolved then they were resolved today. My dad died on March 1, 2022 and nothing was ordered. If the issues were resolved today, it's because we came out here and had to make them resolve today," Reed said. "I want him almost up and out of here now because they didn't take care of him. Where is the dignity you said you were going to provide my father? This is awful."

We reached out to the Department of Veteran Affairs about this matter. They said bronze markers usually have a six-week turnaround time when they're ordered. The VA also sent us the following statement which reminds military families of the benefits their loved ones have earned for serving this country.

The National Cemetery Administration has not received a request to provide a bronze marker (or any other memorial benefit) for Mr. Wayman H. Davis, who died earlier this year and is interred in a private cemetery in Indianapolis.

Veterans who are buried in private cemeteries can receive a government headstone, marker or columbarium niche cover, a burial flag, and a Presidential Memorial Certificate from the VA. While the VA provides these items at no cost (to include no cost for shipping), a private cemetery may charge a fee for installation of the headstone, marker, or niche cover. Veterans have earned these benefits through their service to our country.

Eligible Veterans or family members may also receive burial benefits at no cost at a nearby national cemetery. These benefits include:

- A gravesite in any of the 155 VA national cemeteries with available space.

- A headstone or grave marker,

- A burial flag,

- Presidential Memorial Certificate(s),

- Opening and closing of the grave,

- A grave liner, and

- Perpetual (ongoing) care of the gravesite.

Veterans and families can learn more at;!!FJkDyvWmnr4!bHWk3gSiYUtj1LDeXJ-V2xvCzDNq5MIzqCQceM9rXkFP6mU-4BMuUZCvPEYzVsZhc1j8FqqYSxmK_zfbVvD-BkJg$ [] and looking at the "Burial and Memorial Benefits" section.

The same burial and memorial benefits are also available at the more than 120 State, Territorial and Tribal Veterans cemeteries that the VA funds. The only conditions in the case of these State, Territorial or Tribal cemeteries are that some states have a residency requirement (the Veteran must have lived in the state), and some charge a fee for interment of the spouse (interments of spouses and eligible family members at VA national cemeteries are at no cost). Families should check with the appropriate state, territory or tribal government for more details.

Les' A. Melnyk Chief, Public Affairs and Outreach National Cemetery Administration Department of Veterans Affairs