U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich announced that they have secured $5,741,388 to cover the full cost of construction for a veterans cemetery near Fort Stanton. Currently, the state has only two veterans cemeteries — located in Santa Fe and at Fort Bayard — and many veterans and their families have to travel a great distance to honor loved ones.
The new cemetery at Fort Stanton will serve more than 7,500 veterans and their families. Ground breaking for the project is expected this coming Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2015.
“More than 170,000 veterans call New Mexico home, and I’m proud to honor their sacrifices in every way possible,” Udall said. “This new veterans cemetery at Fort Stanton is badly needed, and I’ve strongly supported the state of New Mexico’s proposals for this and others around the state. Veterans’ family members simply shouldn’t have to drive hundreds of miles to pay respect to their loved ones. This funding honors veterans and their families and will create final resting places that appropriately commemorate their service and sacrifice to our nation.”
“New Mexico has a long and proud history of military service. Establishing a veterans cemetery at Fort Stanton is an important way for veterans’ families to honor their loved ones,” Heinrich said. “I am pleased the VA will provide $5.7 million to build this cemetery and I will continue to support additional veterans cemeteries in our state so that we can honor and respect the sacrifices our veterans made for our country.”
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs awarded the funding through the agency’s Veterans Cemetery Grants Program. A new cemetery is also set to open in Gallup next year.