Another deserved benefit
Published 10:03 pm Thursday, December 12, 2013
Veterans who have honorably served this country well deserve all the recognition and benefits they get, and then some.
The country shows its appreciation in a number of ways, both formal and informal, tangible and intangible. Veterans very likely appreciate the simple “Thank you” in the grocery store and a free meal on Veterans Day almost as much as they appreciate the pay and benefits.
Burial in a state or national veterans cemetery is another benefit afforded the men and women who have served us. But until recently, those being buried in Virginia’s state cemeteries had to pay for their burial vaults, which was provided for free at national cemeteries.
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While the vaults were cheaper at Suffolk’s Albert G. Horton Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery than if purchased through a funeral home, thanks to a grant, the cemetery recently installed concrete lawn crypts that will be provided free of charge.
Paid for with another grant from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ National Cemetery Administration, the crypts are placed in the ground ahead of time and simply filled when the veteran or spouse dies. Each space has room for two caskets, enabling a veteran and spouse to stay together.
Providing the pre-installed crypts at no cost offers veterans and their families in this region yet another benefit they deserve, and it eliminates a financial burden to the family. Finally, it saves labor on the part of the cemetery staff.
The new containers are expected to last about eight to nine years, at which point a new set will be installed, cemetery director Dan Kemano said.
We applaud the Suffolk cemetery on going the extra mile to provide another benefit to veterans.