U.S. Senator Dan Coats is the force behind a new federal law giving the Department of Veterans Affairs the authority to disinter veterans that were buried in national cemeteries under false pretenses.
The Alicia Dawn Koehl Respect for National Cemeteries Act was signed into law by President Obama in December. The law is a tribute to Indiana resident Alicia Koehl, who was shot and killed by Veteran Michael Anderson in 2012. Anderson was later buried with full military honors. The Koehl family protested, requesting that his remains be exhumed and moved. When the VA said it did not have the authority to disinter Anderson’s remains, Coats took action and introduced the law into the Senate. Congresswoman Susan Brooks introduced companion legislation in the House.
Coats says he is pleased the law can bring some closure and peace to effected families