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  • Writer's picturePermian Warrior Partnership

Surviving Spouse on Limited Income Receives Support for Cremation Costs

In times of loss, the weight of grief can cast a shadow that amplifies the strain of financial worries. Such was the case for Cheryl Pay-McCollister, who found herself grappling with the profound loss of her husband and the considerable financial burden that accompanied this trying period. This was when Cheryl turned to Permian Warrior Partnership (PWP) for support.

Cheryl’s husband, an Army veteran (’71-’73) with an honorable discharge, unfortunately passed away in August. After the initial disbelief of losing her partner subsided, Cheryl then had to face the unfortunate monetary reality of death. The couple had no life insurance to assist with this cost, and Cheryl was on a limited income. Cheryl was afraid that she could not afford her husband’s cremation costs. Struggling with grief, the prospect of affording a fitting farewell for her late husband seemed daunting. After turning to her local VA in Big Springs, TX, Cheryl was referred to and immediately contacted PWP. With determination and compassion, PWP Case Coordinator Breanna Durner sprang into action, leaving no stone unturned in the search for assistance.

Breanna began combing through all the resources the PWP network had to offer. Local resources, though willing, were constrained by funding limitations. Even the funeral home, despite their best intentions, was unable to alleviate the burden. Undeterred, Breanna reached out to The AWP Network Director, Jeanette Gilles, for national assistance. A national partner swiftly stepped forward through their collaboration and extended a helping hand. The partner was able to cover the cost of cremation to ensure the veteran received a dignified farewell and Cheryl could continue mourning in peace. Breanna continues to keep a line of communication with Cheryl to provide her with ongoing support.


The Permian Basin is stronger when our veterans are stronger. Connect with PWP to learn more about how you can give back to the Permian veteran community by visiting our website and completing an online form:

Permian Warrior Partnership is a proud participant in the SSG Parker Gordon Fox Suicide Prevention Grant.

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