VA Reaches Agreement in Houston National Cemetery Case

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Settlement Consistent with VA Policy Protecting Family’s Wishes at Services

 

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has agreed to a settlement that is consistent with its policies for ensuring that families’ religious preferences are respected when their loved ones are laid to rest at the National Cemetery in Houston.

“This agreement preserves VA policy that families’ wishes are paramount when their loved ones – our nation’s heroes – are laid to rest,” said VA’s Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs Steve Muro.  “This agreement respects the important principle that the family’s wishes for religious observances at the committal services must be honored, which VA has fought to protect from day one.”

Under the settlement, local members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars District 4 and a local organization named the National Memorial Ladies will resign their positions as official VA volunteers and instead will be free to make their services known to local funeral homes that make arrangements for the families and do so in their private capacity.  Families can then decide what, if any, services they would like these groups to provide at their committal services.

“For ten years running, the National Cemetery Administration has earned the highest customer satisfaction scores of any organization in the country, public or private, as measured by the American Customer Satisfaction Index.  This settlement allows us to move forward and continue to focus on fulfilling our important mission of honoring the service and sacrifice of America’s Veterans and their families,” said Under Secretary Muro.

VA’s National Cemetery Administration operates 131 national cemeteries across the country, conducting more than 111,000 interments a year for our Veterans, their families, and survivors in their faith traditions.

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