Lawmaker directs military to change 'tragic' next-of-kin policy - - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - |

Lawmaker directs military to change 'tragic' next-of-kin policy

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) A congressman inserts a clause into Defense Department funding that deals with a post-mortem custody battle over a soldier whose Oklahoma father and California mother are fighting over where he should be buried.

Under a directive by Representative Sam Farr, service members will have to designate who should receive their body if they die in combat.

Renee Amick says her son, Army Staff Sergeant Jason Hendrix, wanted to be buried in central California.

Hendrix's remains were sent to Amick after he was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq February 16th, but his father, Russell Hendrix, wanted the man buried in a civilian cemetery next to his paternal grandfather, a former Marine.

Based on a little-known policy that grants the remains of military personnel to the eldest surviving parent, the Defense Department shipped the body from California to Oklahoma.

Amick and Russell Hendrix separated in 1989, and Hendrix was awarded custody of their son in 1991.
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