Federal grant to state veterans affairs department will aid a Black Mountain cemetary

Secretary Hall and Charlie Smith display grant notification letter from U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Photo courtesy of N.C. Department Of Military And Veterans Affairs
Secretary Hall and Charlie Smith display grant notification letter from U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Photo courtesy of N.C. Department Of Military And Veterans Affairs

Press release from N.C. Department of Military And Veterans Affairs:

The N.C. Department of Military And Veterans Affairs (NCDMVA) has been notified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that the VA plans to award the Department two veteran cemetery expansion grants in 2018. The grants are to create burial sites in the Western Carolina State Veterans Cemetery in Black Mountain and the Sandhills State Veterans Cemetery in Fayetteville. Upon receiving the grant award notice letter, Secretary Larry Hall stated “We are relieved to get this timely notice of the coming grant support to expand our cemeteries that are approaching capacity. We understand that the state must now dedicate sufficient funding to maintain the appearance and operation our cemeteries so families will be proud to visit their loved ones at their final place of rest.”

The NCDMVA applied to the U.S. Department of Veterans Administration for help meeting the burial space needs of the cemeteries. Delivery of the grant is conditioned upon the state’s guarantee to operate and maintain the cemeteries at the current level of service.

Mr. Charlie Smith, Former Director of the NC Department of Veterans Affairs and current Governmental Liaison for the American Legion of NC expressed his gratitude for the grant saying, “I’m so excited to hear this great news. The partnership between the American Legion and the NCDMVA has been crucial in addressing the needs faced by our veterans and their families. Providing adequate space for their burials is the very least we can do for these heroes”.

The NCDMVA along with the American Legion has advocated at the State and federal level for adequate funding for the NCDMVA as well as the four cemeteries managed by the NCDMVA. According to James Woodard, Director of the Veterans Cemetery Project, “We are continuously working and advocating for operational funds as well as assistance with the ever-growing challenges of funding and continual expansion for the cemeteries. We won’t stop until our veterans have a final resting place that’s befitting of the service they gave to our country.”

For more information regarding this grant and any other projects of the NCDMVA, contact Angella Dunston at 984-204-8336 or 919-417-8533 angella.dunston@milvets@nc.gov

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