Governor Glenn Youngkin | Governor.Virginia.gov
RICHMOND, Virginia – The Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS) conducted an interment at the Albert G. Horton, Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery in Suffolk on Monday, April 25, 2022 for CMCN David A. Corona, who was honorably discharged from the reserve of the United States Navy in 1996 after serving for eight years.
“Virginia is proud to be the first state in the nation to offer former Guardsmen, Reservists and their family members the opportunity to be buried in places of honor in perpetuity alongside their brothers and sisters in arms. “, said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “Our former Guardsmen and Reservists stood ready to answer the call when they wore the fabric of our country, and now we can ensure they have a dignified final resting place when they answer that final call. .”
This burial is different from the more than 2,500 burials of veterans and their eligible dependents each year at Virginia’s three veterans cemeteries. This is the first burial since the Fair Burial Act for Guards and Reserves was signed into law on March 15, 2022. Prior to this bill, his family’s request for burial in a Virginia State Veterans Cemetery would have been denied.
The new law authorizes state veterans cemeteries to provide an honored final resting place for former guardsmen and reservists who may not have previously qualified for burial at a veterans cemetery because that they have not respected the minimum duration of active service. With the burial of CMCN Corona on April 25, Virginia became the first state in the nation to bury a former Reserve Component service member under new eligibility standards.
Before the legislation was passed, states that received a grant from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to establish, expand, or operate a state veterans cemetery were only allowed veterans inter-eligible combatants – those who had served 24 consecutive months on active duty – and their dependents. Under the Fair Burial Act for guards and reserves, any honorably discharged guard or reservist is eligible, even if they do not have the required active duty time.
Under its new Special Category Burial Program (SCIP), DVS will offer three burial options for eligible former guards, reservists, and family members: in-ground coffin burial, in-ground cremation, and incineration above ground (in a niche columbarium).
SCIP fees are $2,000 for casket burials and $1,700 for cremation burials. These costs include the burial plot or columbarium niche, a headstone or niche cover, an exterior burial receptacle for caskets, opening and closing of the grave, a place to perform a burial service, and perpetual care.
“The National Guard is a community force, so offering the opportunity to be buried with honor closer to home is an appropriate way to honor their service,” said Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, Virginia’s adjutant general. “We commend Virginia for leading the way in making this legislation a reality and thank the Virginia Department of Veterans Services for all they do to support military personnel and their families across the Commonwealth.”
To learn more about the new DVS Special Category Burial Program (SCIP) for eligible former guards, reservists and family members, please contact DVS at 1-855-4VA-VETS (1-855-482-8387 ). Former Guardsmen and Reservists who were denied burial at a Virginia State Veterans Cemetery are encouraged to reapply.
About the Virginia Department of Veterans Services
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