WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery is receiving more than $1 million to improve its property in North Little Rock.
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki announced that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) awarded two grants totaling $1,139,062 for 100 percent of allowable costs associated with the expansion, operation and maintenance of the cemetery. It is located at 1501 West Maryland Ave. in North Little Rock.
"This award recognizes and celebrates the contribution of America's Veterans," said Secretary Shinseki. "The expansion, operation and maintenance of the Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery at North Little Rock will ensure that Veterans in the area will have access to the burial benefits they earned."
Grant funds will develop approximately two acres and fund the construction of columbaria, landscaping and supporting infrastructure. The construction will include 720 columbarium niches and other minor improvements. Grant funds also apply to raising, realigning and cleaning headstones along with turf rehabilitation. The project includes work on 2,951 headstones and approximately 279,000 square feet of turf.
The closest open VA national cemetery is Fayetteville National Cemetery in Fayetteville, Ark., approximately 187 miles away. The closest state cemetery is Arkansas Veterans Cemetery at Birdeye, Cherry Valley, Ark., approximately 118 miles away.
VA's Veterans Cemetery Grants Program is designed to complement VA's 131 national cemeteries across the country. Since 1980, the program has awarded grants totaling more than $483 million to establish, expand, improve, operate and maintain 87 Veterans cemeteries in 41 states and territories including tribal trust lands, Guam, and Saipan. These state cemeteries provided more than 29,000 burials in 2011.
Veterans with a discharge issued under conditions other than dishonorable who have completed a period of active duty service as required by law, their spouses and eligible dependent children may be buried in either state Veterans cemetery in Arkansas. For more information about Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery at North Little Rock, call (501) 683-2259 or visit the State Department of Veterans Service website at http://www.veterans.arkansas.gov.
Information on VA burial benefits can be obtained from national cemetery offices, by calling VA regional offices toll-free at 800-827-1000 or from the Internet at http://www.cem.va.gov.
(Source: Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs)