Aug 1, 2012 6:53 AM by KTVQ - Dustin Klemann
LAUREL - The Department of Veterans Affairs announced Tuesday that it is moving forward with plans to provide burial services for Veterans near Laurel.
The Rural Initiative plan provides National Veterans Burial Grounds within existing public or private cemeteries in rural areas where the unserved Veteran population is 25,000 or less within a 75-mile radius.
VA plans to open eight across the country including National Veterans Burial Grounds in Fargo, North Dakota; Cheyenne, Wyoming; and Idaho Falls, Idaho.
More than 136,000 Veterans and their eligible dependents will receive burial options. Bill Kennedy, Yellowstone County Commissioner, said this announcement comes after nearly a decade of hard work to bring Veterans of Montana a National Veterans Burial Ground as their resting place.
"VA is committed to improving service to Veterans in rural areas," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. "Through an innovative partnership with existing cemeteries, we will be able to ensure burial for Veterans in more locations that meet the high standards of national shrines."
VA operates 131 national cemeteries in 39 states and Puerto Rico and 33 soliders lots and monument sites. More information on VA burial benefits is available from national cemetery offices by visiting their website at www.cem.va.gov.