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Walz announces $10 million grant for Preston Veteran Cemetery

Fri, Sep 27th, 2013
Posted in Preston Government

Construction of the cemetery

will give peace of mind to 51,150 Minnesota Veterans

and their families

MANKATO, Minn. – Representative Tim Walz announced that the Department of Veterans Affairs awarded a $10 million grant covering 100 percent of the allowable costs associated with establishing a Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery in Preston, Minn. Last year, Representative Walz, along with Representative Runyan (R-NJ), held a bipartisan field hearing in Preston to examine the proposal for the construction of a new Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery in Preston and the process used by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to construct new state-run veterans’ cemeteries.

“After the tremendous sacrifices made by our nation’s veterans, our warriors deserve a final resting place that will both honor their memory and give them peace of mind in knowing they will be close to family and loved ones,” Representative Walz said. “I’m pleased to announce this grant and grateful for the bipartisan coalition that worked diligently together to get this done.”

The grant will help the state provide enhanced services for 51,150 Minnesota Veterans and their families. The closest state Veteran cemetery is Northern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Spooner, Wisconsin, approximately 193 miles away. Currently, Minnesota has only one state Veteran cemetery, located in Little Falls—nearly 250 miles away.

The closest VA national cemetery is Fort Snelling National Cemetery, located in Minneapolis, which is approximately 120 miles away.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Veterans Cemetery Grants Program was established in 1978 to complement VA’s National Cemetery Administration. The program assists states, territories and federally recognized tribal governments in providing gravesites for Veterans in those areas where VA’s national cemeteries cannot fully satisfy their burial needs. Grants may be used only for establishing, expanding or improving Veterans cemeteries that are owned and operated by a state, federally recognized tribal government, or U.S. territory. VA cannot provide grants to private organizations, counties, cities or other government agencies.

Representative Walz sits on the U.S. House of Representatives Veterans Affairs Committee. He is a 24 year veteran of the Army National Guard and is the highest ranking enlisted soldier to ever serve in Congress.

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