Garrett and Menendez Join Together and Offer Bill to Aid Veterans and Their Families
Continue Their Fight to Support America's Veterans
U.S. Representative Scott Garrett (R- NJ) and U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) joined together and stood on behalf of our nation's veterans by pushing legislation which would expand the federal burial benefit to assist veterans' family members buried in state veterans' cemeteries. Garrett introduced this bill last year in the House and Menendez introduced it yesterday in the Senate.
"I'm glad to hear that Senator Menendez has offered this bill in the Senate," stated Garrett. "Like me, I know he believes that this legislation is a commonsense approach to supporting our veterans and addressing their needs. This year, our nation will lay to rest military personnel who have risked their lives for our nation and beliefs. The families of these brave individuals should be able to choose their burial based on location, convenience, and peace of mind, not economics."
"We owe so much to the Greatest Generation and all men and women who have fought for this country," said Menendez. "At the very least, they deserve to have their families by their side at their final resting place. This bill would give our veterans that peace of mind."
The veteran's cemetery legislation enables veterans to receive burial benefits to cover the veteran's spouse and other eligible dependents when buried in state veteran's cemeteries. Currently, burial benefits are available for a veteran when he or she is buried in either a federal or state veteran's cemetery. A veteran's spouse and dependents are eligible for benefits only when they are buried with the veteran in a federal cemetery. This disparity forces a veteran's family to bear the burden of financing the burial themselves if they want to keep the family together in a state cemetery. Given that state veterans cemetery space is more abundant than federal veterans cemetery space, and that federal cemeteries are often more regional and less convenient to remote areas of the country, families are frequently left without real options.