Governor Jan Brewer today announced the Arizona Department of Veterans Services has been awarded a $7.6 million federal grant to establish the new State Veterans' Cemetery in Marana.
"This is fantastic news for Arizonans, and especially for the southern Arizona veterans and advocates who have championed for this cemetery for more than a decade," said Governor Brewer. "Arizona is home to more than half-a-million military veterans, including nearly 135,000 in Pima and surrounding counties. This grant will help Arizona in our continued mission to properly honor those who have nobly served and sacrificed on our country's behalf. I thank the Kai Family Foundation for graciously donating this land, as well as everyone involved in this important effort."
The $7.6 million, provided in a grant from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, will fully fund construction of the project, expected to cover 32 acres of donated land and have an operating life of 50 years.
The initial phase of construction will span an estimated 7-10 acres and will provide in-ground burials, columbarium and in-ground cremated remains burials. It also will include an administration building, maintenance building, assembly area, committal shelter and parking. Construction is scheduled to begin July 2014 and is expected to be completed October 2015.
The state's receipt of this award reflects a more than decade-long collaborative effort by the Arizona Department of Veterans' Services, Pima County, City of Marana, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and other veterans' organizations.