As your United States Senator, one of the most important jobs I have is helping New Mexicans when they are having trouble with a federal agency. I can help with things like Social Security benefits, Medicare, Immigration issues, Veterans benefits, and other federal programs.
Earlier this year, Patricia Sena reached out to me seeking assistance with the Santa Fe National Cemetery. Her mother, Elaine Sena, passed away at the beginning of 2022 and her dying wish had been to be buried at the Santa Fe National Cemetery with her beloved, Virgil Lee Lund, who served in the U.S. Navy. While they were not officially married, Elaine and Virgil thought they had a common law marriage. They lived together in Albuquerque and were committed to each other for 28 years.
PHOTO: Elaine Sena and Virgil Lee Lund, Courtesy of Patricia Sena.
Upon Virgil’s death, the family was told that New Mexico does not recognize common law marriage and, as a result, Elaine could not be buried at the Santa Fe National Cemetery. My office worked with Patricia and the National Cemetery Administration to facilitate an exception for burial eligibility. Shortly after, the Santa Fe National Cemetery approved the burial of Elaine Sena with her beloved Virgil Lee Lund on July 7, 2022.
“My mother is with her love Virgil for eternity,” Patricia says. “That was their wish. They will be at peace forever.”
Over the years, the Constituent Services Representatives in my offices in New Mexico have helped hundreds of veterans and families like the Senas. It is one of the most meaningful aspects of serving you in the U.S. Senate.
Whether you or a family member is having trouble with a federal agency, please don’t hesitate to contact my office by calling (505) 346-6601 or by visiting the Helping You section on my website.
United States Senator