On Thursday Congressman Jon Runyan (R-NJ), Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs (DAMA), held his second hearing discussing the problems associated with Arlington National Cemetery.
"The manner in which Arlington National Cemetery was being run was a total disgrace to our men and women in uniform, those warfighters who have made the ultimate sacrifice, and their families," stated Chairman Runyan. "I applaud the Department of the Army for bringing in two outstanding and experienced individuals who are working hard to turn the cemetery around but there is still a lot of work to do. I will continue to work with all parties involved to make sure guidelines are implemented and improvements continue to be made, no matter who is in charge at Arlington."
Thursday's DAMA hearing consisted of two panels and a total of three witnesses. The witnesses included Major General William H. McCoy, the acting Inspector General for the United States Army; Ms. Kathryn Condon, the Director of the National Cemeteries Program; and Mr. Patrick K. Hallinan, the Superintendent of Arlington National Cemetery.
General McCoy submitted his most recent Inspector General Report on Arlington National Cemetery, which reported progress is being made, especially with regard to accountability and the implementation of modernization practices. The report also shows that the Army National Cemeteries Program is on track to complete an accountability baseline for gravesites and internment niches by the end of 2011. The requests for burial at Arlington National Cemetery continue to increase and currently it is expected to reach will full capacity by 2035.