A-19410, SEPTEMBER 1, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 177

A-19410: Sep 1, 1927

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BURIAL EXPENSES - RETIRED ENLISTED MEN DYING WHILE ON ACTIVE DUTY AS THE ARMY APPROPRIATION FOR BURIAL OF OFFICERS AND ENLISTED MEN IS MADE EXPRESSLY AVAILABLE IN THE CASE OF A RETIRED ENLISTED MAN WHO DIES WHILE ON ACTIVE DUTY. THE VETERANS' BUREAU IS NOT AUTHORIZED TO PAY ANY PART OF SUCH EXPENSES UNDER SECTION 201 (1) OF THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT OF JUNE 7. 1927: THERE IS BEFORE THIS OFFICE FOR CONSIDERATION THE LEGALITY OF A PROPOSED PAYMENT ON VOUCHER ADM-NO-C-41225. THE QUESTION PRESENTED IS WHETHER. WHERE BURIAL EXPENSES HAVE BEEN PAID BY THE ARMY. WHICH ROVIDES: (1) IF DEATH OCCUR OR SHALL HAVE OCCURRED SUBSEQUENT TO APRIL 6. * * THE AUTHORITY FOR PAYMENT OF BURIAL EXPENSES IN THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT IS UNDER TITLE II.

A-19410, SEPTEMBER 1, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 177

BURIAL EXPENSES - RETIRED ENLISTED MEN DYING WHILE ON ACTIVE DUTY AS THE ARMY APPROPRIATION FOR BURIAL OF OFFICERS AND ENLISTED MEN IS MADE EXPRESSLY AVAILABLE IN THE CASE OF A RETIRED ENLISTED MAN WHO DIES WHILE ON ACTIVE DUTY, THE VETERANS' BUREAU IS NOT AUTHORIZED TO PAY ANY PART OF SUCH EXPENSES UNDER SECTION 201 (1) OF THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT OF JUNE 7, 1924, 43 STAT. 617, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF JULY 2, 1926, 44 STAT. 794.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, SEPTEMBER 1, 1927:

THERE IS BEFORE THIS OFFICE FOR CONSIDERATION THE LEGALITY OF A PROPOSED PAYMENT ON VOUCHER ADM-NO-C-41225, EXECUTED IN FAVOR OF MRS. CATHERINE A. BARNES BY THE UNITED STATES VETERANS' BUREAU IN THE AMOUNT OF $25 COVERING PARTIAL REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED INCIDENT TO THE BURIAL OF JOHN E. BARNES, WHO DIED MARCH 15, 1923, AT WALTER REED HOSPITAL WHILE EMPLOYED ON ACTIVE DUTY AS A RETIRED ENLISTED MAN OF THE UNITED STATES ARMY. THE QUESTION PRESENTED IS WHETHER, WHERE BURIAL EXPENSES HAVE BEEN PAID BY THE ARMY, AS PROVIDED BY REGULATIONS UNDER THE ANNUAL ARMY APPROPRIATION FOR DISPOSITION OF REMAINS OF OFFICERS AND ENLISTED MEN, FOR A RETIRED ENLISTED MAN WHO DIED MARCH 15, 1923, WHILE EMPLOYED IN ACTIVE SERVICE AFTER RETIREMENT ENTERED ON SEPTEMBER 15, 1921, ADDITIONAL EXPENSES OR ANY PART THEREOF IN CONNECTION WITH THE FUNERAL OF THE MAN MAY BE PAID OUT OF VETERANS' BUREAU FUNDS UNDER SECTION 201 (1) OF THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT OF JUNE 7, 1924, 43 STAT. 617, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF JULY 2, 1926, 44 STAT. 794, WHICH ROVIDES:

(1) IF DEATH OCCUR OR SHALL HAVE OCCURRED SUBSEQUENT TO APRIL 6, 1917, AND BEFORE DISCHARGE OR RESIGNATION FROM THE SERVICE, THE UNITED STATES VETERANS' BUREAU SHALL PAY FOR BURIAL AND FUNERAL EXPENSES AND THE RETURN OF BODY TO HIS HOME A SUM NOT TO EXCEED $100, AS MAY BE FIXED BY REGULATION. * * *

SECTION 212 OF THIS ACT, 44 STAT. 798, PROVIDES:

* * * TITLES II AND IV OF THIS ACT SHALL NOT BE APPLICABLE TO ANY DISABILITY OR RESULTANT DEATH IN THE SERVICE IF SUCH DISABILITY OCCURRED AS A RESULT OF SERVICE PRIOR TO APRIL 6, 1917, OR AFTER JULY 2, 1921; * *

THE AUTHORITY FOR PAYMENT OF BURIAL EXPENSES IN THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT IS UNDER TITLE II.

AN ENLISTED MAN IS UPON RETIREMENT NOT DISCHARGED BUT CONTINUES AS A PART OF THE ARMY; HE IS RELIEVED FROM THE PERFORMANCE OF DUTY. HIS RECALL TO ACTIVE SERVICE IS IN THE NATURE OF, AND FOR SOME PURPOSES IS TREATED AS, AN ENLISTMENT, AS, FOR EXAMPLE, THE ADJUSTMENT OF HIS CLOTHING ACCOUNT AND HIS RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY IS ANALOGOUS TO A DISCHARGE FOR THE PURPOSE OF SECTION 201 OF THE ACT. PROVISION IS MADE IN THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE ARMY FOR THE BURIAL OF ENLISTED MEN AND OFFICERS, UNDER THE HEADING,"DISPOSITION OF REMAINS OF OFFICERS, SOLDIERS, AND CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES," AND THIS APPROPRIATION IS SPECIFICALLY MADE AVAILABLE IN THE CASE OF RETIRED ENLISTED MEN WHO DIE ON ACTIVE DUTY IN TERMS AS FOLLOWS:

* * * PROVIDED, THAT THE ABOVE PROVISIONS SHALL BE APPLICABLE IN THE CASES OF OFFICERS AND ENLISTED MEN ON THE RETIRED LIST OF THE ARMY WHO HAVE DIED OR MAY HEREAFTER DIE WHILE ON ACTIVE DUTY BY PROPER ASSIGNMENT.

THE INTENT OF BOTH THE APPROPRIATION IN THE ANNUAL ARMY ACT AND THE CITED SECTION OF THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT IS TO PROVIDE FOR THE BURIAL OF CERTAIN PERSONS AT THE EXPENSE OF THE UNITED STATES. ORDINARILY A BENEFICIARY UNDER EITHER OF THE LAWS HAS BUT ONE FUNERAL. HE IS BURIED BUT ONCE. AS THE AUTHORIZED AND NECESSARY EXPENSES IN CONNECTION WITH HIS FUNERAL AND BURIAL HAVE BEEN PAID UNDER THE ARMY APPROPRIATION, SPECIFICALLY APPLICABLE TO A RETIRED ENLISTED MAN ON ACTIVE DUTY BY PROPER ASSIGNMENT AT THE TIME OF DEATH, THE GENERAL PROVISION IN THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT WHICH MIGHT OTHERWISE HAVE BEEN AVAILABLE FOR HIS FUNERAL AND BURIAL MAY NOT BE UTILIZED. 1 COMP. DEC. 126; ID. 236; ID. 417; ID. 563. IT WAS NOT THE INTENT OF THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT TO SUPPLEMENT THE PROVISIONS OF LAW AND REGULATIONS ADEQUATELY PROVIDING FOR THE FUNERAL AND BURIAL EXPENSES OF RETIRED ENLISTED MEN ON ACTIVE DUTY WHOSE FUNERAL AND BURIAL EXPENSES MIGHT HAVE BEEN PAID UNDER THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT IF THEY HAD NOT BEEN ON ACTIVE DUTY AT THE TIME OF DEATH. THE VOUCHER MAY NOT, THEREFORE, BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.