VA will pay for cremation of veteran shot in standoff

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The family of Issac Sims, an Iraq War veteran shot and killed over Memorial Day Weekend, says the Kansas City Veteran Affairs Hospital will cover the cost to pay cremate and honor veteran.

Issac’s father Adrian Sims witnessed carnage during the Vietnam War, but wasn't ready to see his own son lifeless.

"Issac looked like a child. He didn't have any holes in his head, body looked pretty good, just cold," he said.

On Thursday morning, Sims' parents and immediate family members had an opportunity to see the 26-year-old after the Jackson County Medical Examiner's office made an exception.

“There's no way I could express how much I admired him," Adrian Sims said. "I said 'Issac, you're a whole lot better trooper than I was.'"

On Wednesday, his father spent nearly three hours at the VA hospital to discuss the compensation of putting to his son rest.  It’s the same hospital they claim told Sims on Friday he would have to wait 30 days to be admitted for PTSD treatment.

The family hopes their tragedy will force changes to be made at Department of Veteran Affairs.

"Our biggest supporters were veterans groups, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans," Missouri Senator Roy Blunt said.

Senator Blunt spent Thursday voicing support for improved behavioral health treatment. The senator said a major review regarding mental health is needed at military on-base and VA hospitals.

"A mental health problem that is imminent is as imminent as a heart attack and you don't tell someone with a heart attack we'll see you in 30 days," Senator Blunt said.

It's reassuring for Sims' sister Shawna Anderson, who is left with memories of the decorated war veteran and mementos like a letter from his former army company.

"It's really impossible when Issac is riding in the truck he never puts himself first. He always completes the task with a smile on his face," Anderson said reading from the letter.

Once Issac is cremated next week, his ashes will be at Leavenworth National Cemetery. 

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