First, I got a letter from the VA denying my application for a military headstone/marker for Marshall. The reason they gave in the first paragraph was that they don't give markers to veterans who aren't interred. But in the last sentence they say "you are eligible for a government-furnished headstone or marker if you scatter the ashes" and that I should apply again after the ashes are scattered. Kind of confusing.
But then I noticed that the letter was addressed to me but the veteran's name was Marshall J Mullins. My Marshall was Marshall L Mullins. Then I noticed they had a Veteran ID number so I got out all of Marshall's papers to try to find his ID number. I couldn't find anything in the papers so I got out his wallet (which I hadn't looked at since he died) and when I saw his pictures (drivers license, VA card, etc.), as well as all his other stuff, I had a huge meltdown.
I never found a number that said it was a Veteran ID number but I also didn't find any number that matched the number on the letter I got today. I guess I will see the Veteran Service Officer on Monday and see what he thinks.
Since I have ordered a traditional headstone for Marshall I would be inclined to not worry about a military marker ... EXCEPT that this would be a very big deal to Marshall so I will keep pursuing it.
I have heard from several caregivers who read my blog and who have asked me to keep the blog going to report what life is after the loss of a husband to prostate cancer. So I will. I'm sure it will be a long time before life settles into anything even remotely resembling normal.