Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America

JWV Supports Native American Veterans Cemetery Act

Winter 2007

The Jewish War Veterans of the USA (JWV) supports the Native American Veterans Cemetery Act that would authorize states to provide grants financed by the Department of Veterans Affairs for the development or improvement of veterans' cemeteries on tribal land. Until now, the families of Native American Veterans have had to choose between burying their loved ones who have made the ultimate sacrifice either on tribal lands or in national veterans' cemeteries, which may be very far from their families and where tribal burial rituals cannot be performed. Until now, tribal governments have not been eligible for grants from the VA that would allow for the development of veterans' cemeteries on tribal land. The passage of this bill would rectify this injustice. Nearly 20,000 service people who are currently serving are classified as Native American/Alaskan Native. It is estimated that 22 % of Native Americans over the age of 18 are veterans. This is a need that must be met. The JWV supports the passage of this important legislation and urges the Congress to reconcile the bills in the House and Senate that have recently been passed so that the completed bill can be sent to the President for final approval. As these brave Native Americans have fought for their country, their country should help to provide their final resting place.

 

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