Secretary Announces $8.8 Million for Washington State Cemetery

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Secretary Shinseki Announces $8.8 Million for Washington Cemetery

Facility Would Be First of its Kind in State

WASHINGTON – Ensuring that military Veterans living in eastern Washington have a final resting place that honors their service to the nation, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki announced the award of $8.8 million to establish the Washington State Veterans Cemetery in Medical Lake.

“This is our first opportunity to partner with the state’s Department of Veterans Affairs to establish a state Veterans cemetery,” Secretary Shinseki said.  “We are proud to work with them to commemorate the service and sacrifice of Washington’s Veterans.”

     

The project will provide construction of the main entrance, a committal shelter, pre-placed crypts, standard burial areas, columbarium, in-ground cremains burial areas, roads, a maintenance facility, an assembly area and supporting infrastructure.  Interment areas and facilities will include 1,280 standard burial plots; 2,000 pre-placed crypts; 1,370 in-ground cremain sites and 2,240 columbarium niches.

The cemetery will serve approximately 90,000 Washington Veterans and their families.  The nearest national cemetery is VA’s Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, Wash., approximately 250 miles away.

The 80-acre site is located northwest of Medical Lake just off West Espanola Road and about 15 miles southwest of Spokane.  The first phase of the project will develop approximately 15-20 acres.

VA’s State Cemetery Grants Program is designed to complement VA’s 130 national cemeteries across the country.  Since 1980, the program has awarded grants totaling more than $349 million to establish, expand or improve 74 Veterans cemeteries in 38 states or territories including Guam and Saipan.  These state cemeteries provided nearly 25,000 burials in 2008.

Residents of Washington who are Veterans with a discharge issued under conditions other than dishonorable, their spouses and eligible dependent children can be buried in the Washington State Veterans Cemetery in Medical Lake.

For more information about the Washington state Veterans cemetery at Medical Lake, visit the Web site at www.dva.wa.gov/eastern_wa_vet_cemetery.html or call (509) 496-0796.

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