MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The wife of a veteran wants her husband, who died this month, to be buried in his military blues. But that can't happen because his body isn't even in this country!
Mark Lasher went to the Philippines a few months ago, and this month, he died there. His widow fears she will never get to bring his body back to American soil.
Mark Lasher was proud of his service in the Air Force in the mid-70s. He then spent 10 years in the National Guard.
Lasher ended up relying on medical care at the VA for hepatitis C. Then, a business trip to the Philippines in January would end tragically for Lasher.
Sylvia Lasher says her husband of 35 years lost his money in a bad business deal and couldn't afford a return flight. He either wasn't able to, or just did not get his medication while in the Philippines.
"He called me and told me he was in the hospital. He told me he loved me, and that was the last words I heard from him," Sylvia Lasher said.
Mark Lasher died at the age of 58. His death certificate from the Philippines is dated July 3rd.
"I haven't been able to get his body home," Sylvia Lasher said.
Sylvia Lasher says the funeral home in the Philippines keeping her husband's body says time is running out. She doesn't have the thousands of dollars it says is necessary to bring the body back to the United States. No one has been able to help.
"I have gone to Tammy Baldwin's office, I have called the American embassy out there, I have called Citizen Services out there," Sylvia Lasher said.
So now, for Sylvia Lasher, her husband losing money in a business deal is the least of her troubles. She has lost her husband, and even in death, this veteran will not be coming home.
"I'm just going to have to let him stay in the Phillipines. They're just going to have to bury him there, and I didn't want him buried on foreign soil. He's American, a veteran. I'm sorry," Sylvia Lasher said.
The VA Center in the Philippines says it has no record of Mark Lasher coming there for help.
The VA in Milwaukee says it offers its condolences to the family, but says there is no benefit that would help in a situation like this.