Winter 2007 Edition NJDMAVA Veterans

About NJ Veteran Journal:
The New Jersey Veteran Journal is an official publication of the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and is intended to serve New Jersey's veterans, their families, friends and concerned individuals and groups. All correspondence should be sent to the editor at:

Trenton, NJ 08625-0340

Veterans News & Views

Ocean County Donation

VA to build new cemetery near Washington’s Crossing

WASHINGTON--The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Dolington Land LP, a subsidiary of real estate developer Toll Brothers Inc. and the owner of a 205-acre site in Bucks County, Pa., near Washington’s Crossing Historic Park, have signed an “offer to sell” agreement under which VA will purchase for $10.5 million the site for the construction of a new national cemetery.

“This is a key step forward in bringing a national shrine to veterans in southeastern Pennsylvania,” said VA’s Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs William F. Tuerk. “Building this cemetery is a priority for VA, and we are pleased to be moving forward with our plans.” With this step taken, VA expects to complete the formal purchase of the property by March 2008. Once the purchase is finalized and the cemetery design is complete, initial construction will begin in mid 2008.

Burials at the new national cemetery, which will serve more than 580,000 veterans and their families who live in the area, are expected to begin in late 2008. Indiantown Gap National Cemetery, the nearest open national cemetery in Pennsylvania, is 120 miles from the site of the new cemetery.

Veterans with a discharge other than dishonorable, their spouses and dependent children are eligible for burial in a national cemetery. Other burial benefits for eligible veterans include a burial flag, a Presidential Memorial Certificate and a government headstone or marker – even if they are not buried in a national cemetery.

VA clarifies policy on flag folding recitations

WASHINGTON--To ensure burial services at the 125 national cemeteries operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs reflect the wishes of veterans and their families, VA officials have clarified the Department’s policy about recitations made while the U.S. flag is folded at the gravesite of a veteran. “A family may request the recitation of words to accompany the meaningful presentation of the American flag as we honor the dedication and sacrifice of their loved ones,” said William F. Tuerk, VA’s Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs.

The Veterans Administration clarification for national cemeteries includes the following:

- Volunteer honor guards are authorized to read the so-called “13-fold” flag recitation or any comparable script.

- Survivors of the deceased may provide material and request it be read by the volunteer honor guards.

- Volunteer honor guards will accept requests for recitations that reflect any or no religious traditions.