A benefit worth looking into
BY TAMMY WALTERS
Oneida County Veterans Service Officer
One of the vendors at our recent Veterans Benefits Expo was John Knapp, director of the Fort Snelling National Cemetery. John is also overseeing the two rural national cemeteries that are being developed in Fargo, N.D. and right here in Oneida County. The location of our national cemetery will be at Union Grove Cemetery in the township of Cassian.
I learned from John that the contract will be awarded on June 28 of this year and it will take about a year after that before the chosen company breaks ground. It will then take about another year to complete the project and for the cemetery to be open for burials.
Unlike our state veterans’ cemeteries, there is no pre-registration for any national cemeteries; however, you can submit a pre-need application (VA form 40-10007). The purpose is to determine eligibility for burial in a VA national cemetery. The VA is promoting pre-need eligibility determinations to encourage veterans and their eligible family members to plan in advance to use VA burial benefits that veterans have earned through their military service. Planning in advance for a veteran’s or loved one’s final resting place can eliminate unnecessary delays and reduce stress on a family at a difficult time.
Once the pre-need application is submitted, the VA will make an eligibility determination for burial in a VA national cemetery in advance of need. Eligible individuals are entitled to burial in any open VA national cemetery. Burial includes opening/closing of the grave, a government-furnished grave liner, perpetual care of the gravesite, a VA grave marker, and a burial flag all at no cost to the family.
Burial in a VA national cemetery is open to all members of the Armed Forces and veterans who have met minimum active duty service requirements, as applicable by law, and were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. Members of the reserve components of the Armed Forces who die while on active duty under certain circumstances or who die while on active duty for training are also eligible for burial, as are service members and former service members who were eligible for retired pay at the time of their death. Spouses, minor children and, under certain conditions, dependent unmarried adult children are also eligible for burial even if they predecease the veteran.
Note: Jason and I will be at our spring conference May 15-19. We will have a limited term employee (LTE) in our office but our office hours and services will be limited. During that week, the office will be open from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1-3 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 8 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1-2 p.m. Friday.
Tammy Walters can be reached at (715) 369-6127 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Jason Dailey, Assistant CVSO, can be reached at the same number or email@example.com. Or you can contact us via Facebook at www.facebook.com/oneidacvso.