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Veteran Burial Benefits
Native Brief: WASHINGTON - The Yurok Tribe, based in Klamath, California, has received a grant of $3,318,990 to establish the Yurok Veterans Cemetery in Humboldt County.
"This is one of the first Veterans Cemetery grants awarded to a Native American tribal government," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Shinseki. "We are proud of our continuing work with sovereign tribes to provide additional burial benefits where Veterans live."
Public Law 109-461, signed into law December 22, 2006, authorized the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to make Veterans cemetery grants available to tribal governments in the same manner as they are awarded to US states and territories.
This grant will fund the construction of a main entrance, roads, assembly area, committal shelter, casket gravesites, cremation gravesites, landscaping, memorial walkway and supporting infrastructure. Plans include environmental initiatives such as photovoltaic panels, composting toilets and rain water collection.
The cemetery will be approximately 11 miles west of Weitchpec, California, on approximately 20 acres of trust land adjacent to Bald Hills Road. The first phase of the project will develop approximately four acres. Construction will include 171 standard burial gravesites and 161 cremation gravesites.
The new cemetery will serve approximately 2,589 Yurok Tribe Veterans and their families. The closest national cemetery with available burial space is Veteran Administration's Eagle Point National Cemetery in Eagle Point, Ore., 175 miles away. The closest state Veterans Cemetery is Northern California Veterans Cemetery at Igo, approximately 125 miles away.
posted October 4, 2011 6:00 am edt
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