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Tags: va | veterans | families | burial | urns | plaques | national cemeteries

Concerns Raised About VA Burial Plan

By    |   Wednesday, 14 February 2024 10:34 AM EST

A new Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) initiative is being criticized for possibly preventing some veterans from being buried with their spouses.

The VA this year plans to start issuing urns and commemorative plaques to the families of deceased veterans.

One provision says that once a family member opts to receive the urn or plaque on a deceased veteran's behalf, that veteran's remains may not be interred in a national cemetery, Military.com reported.

Also, the VA won't provide any other type of marker for that veteran to be buried in any cemetery.

The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) and the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) are among groups that objected to the VA's proposed rule change.

The NFDA argued that the rule could unnecessarily result in a non-veteran spouse buried in a veterans cemetery where the veteran isn't allowed.

The MDVA argued that an item of "such relatively low cost" as an urn or plaque shouldn't deny veterans the "significant" benefit of burial in a national cemetery.

The VA's rule change was published for public comment before being implemented.

A department spokesperson said the VA is reviewing the comments and expects to publish the final rule and start issuing urns and plaques later this year.

Comments regarding the VA plan to provide the urns and plaques raised concerns that included:

  • Veterans it could be precluded unnecessarily from being buried together with their spouses.
  • Families might feel like they have to forgo the benefit of a plaque in case of wanting to inter the remains in the future.
  • Future generations might mishandle a veteran's remains that could otherwise be securely interred.

The NFDA, with 10,000-plus member funeral homes, suggested that the VA allow veterans' cremated remains be buried in the same veterans cemetery plot with those of their spouses who die later because, no matter what, "the plot must be opened," and including the urn "would not add an additional cost" for the VA.

"We understand that double-dipping benefits [receiving the urn benefit and then the burial plot benefit] is prohibited," the NFDA said, Military.com reported. "However, a veteran and his/her spouse are both entitled to distinct burial benefits. So, while a veteran who receives an urn is no longer eligible for additional benefits like burial, the spouse still has several final disposition benefits to choose from, including ground burial."

Charlie McCarthy

Charlie McCarthy, a writer/editor at Newsmax, has nearly 40 years of experience covering news, sports, and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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A new Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) initiative is being criticized for possibly preventing some veterans from being buried with their spouses.
va, veterans, families, burial, urns, plaques, national cemeteries
391
2024-34-14
Wednesday, 14 February 2024 10:34 AM
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