Republican members of Tennessee’s congressional delegation sent a letter to the Department of Veterans Affairs and demanded a solution to the lack of burial access for veterans.
According to the lawmakers, only two of Tennessee’s five national veterans cemeteries have burial space available, which could be filled quickly.
“The Department of Veterans Affairs-managed national veteran cemeteries are quickly running out of adequate space to properly honor the fighting men and women who have sacrificed so much for our nation. In 1862, we made an iron-clad promise to our veterans and their families that the United States Government would always provide burial services to include the burial space, headstone or marker, a flag, and perpetual care of the burial site at no cost to the family. The federal government is, however, dangerously close to breaking this promise for the millions of veterans currently living and serving,” the lawmakers wrote.
The letter continued to ask for a concrete plan of action to “meet the commitments that we’ve made to provide access to respectful and appropriate burial locations and services.”
Similar issues have persisted in other locations, like Arlington National Cemetery. Leaders have considered stiffening the requirements for burial at the notable place.
The group requested a response from Denis R. McDonough, the secretary of Veterans Affairs, no later than April 30.
“The national veteran cemeteries managed by the Department of Veterans Affairs are quickly running out of adequate space to properly honor the men and women who fought for us. I’m grateful to work alongside my colleagues in the House of Representatives from Tennessee to ensure our veterans, and their families, are honored with burial sites. This is the least we can do for those who so valiantly served our nation,” added Congressman Mark Green (R-TN-07) in a statement.
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Cooper Moran is a reporter for The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]