The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has awarded nearly $5 million for operations at state veterans cemeteries in Amelia County and the city of Suffolk, U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner announced today. The V-A awarded $3.3 million to the Albert G. Horton Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery in Suffolk and $1.6 million to the Virginia Veterans Cemetery in Amelia. The grants come from the federal Veterans Cemetery Grants Program, which funds state efforts to establish, expand, operate and improve veterans cemeteries. The funds will support roadway expansions, irrigation improvements and new signage at the Virginia cemeteries.
"Virginia has a long history of supporting our veterans and military families, and these grants support our efforts to continue to honor our military men and women," Sen. Warner said. "We owe this obligation to those who have served, and I am pleased to announce this ongoing federal support for Virginia's efforts."
As Governor, Sen. Warner participated in the 2003 groundbreaking and 2004 dedication of the Suffolk veterans cemetery. In addition, then-Governor Warner partnered with leading veterans organizations to streamline and improve state veterans services, including appointment of a Cabinet-level official responsible for Virginia's delivery of services to veterans. As a member of the U.S. Senate, Warner's efforts resulted in expanded V-A health services for women veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition, Sen. Warner spearheaded a partnership between the U.S. Army and Northern Virginia's leading technology firms in a pro bono effort to help fix chronic mismanagement and I-T challenges at Arlington National Cemetery.
"V-A is committed to helping state and tribal veterans cemeteries meet national shrine standards and honor veterans with dignified burials," said U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. "It is vitally important that state and tribal governments have the resources necessary to offer quality services to our nation's veterans and their families."