La. National Guard serviceman buried at Arlington National Cemetery
WASHINGTON - A Louisiana National Guard serviceman and Baton Rouge native, killed during a helicopter training exercise off the Florida coast in March, was laid to rest Tuesday afternoon in Arlington National Cemetery.
Staff Sgt. Thomas Florich's burial comes three months after the U.S. Army decided to grant an exception to its rules of interment. Initially, the serviceman, would not have been granted burial in Arlington because he and the three other guardsmen were participating in training and not active combat when they were killed.
In June, the Army announced its decision to review its criteria for burials at Arlington following efforts by members of the Louisiana congressional delegation that fought to win the right for Florich to be buried in the national cemetery.
The FLORICH Act, introduced in the House by Rep. Garret Graves, R-La., seeks to make permanent the ruling that allowed Florich to be buried at Arlington for all servicemen who are killed during combat training. That bill has been referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs and the Committee on Armed Services. You can check on the status of that bill by clicking here.