New Sinema Bill Ensures Veterans and Their Families Receive the Burial Benefits They’ve Earned

Oct 21, 2019

Arizona veteran service organizations support Sinema’s bill ensuring veterans in private cemeteries can honor their families on their gravestones

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema today introduced new bipartisan legislation guaranteeing all veterans and their families have access to the burial benefits promised to them.
Sinema’s Honoring Veterans’ Families Act, cosponsored by Republican Senator Boozman (AR), fixes a flaw that blocks the VA from putting the names of veterans’ family members on headstones in private cemeteries. Currently, the VA is only authorized to put veterans’ family members’ names on headstones in national, state veterans’, and tribal veterans’ cemeteries.
“Veterans buried in private cemeteries have earned the same burial benefits as those buried in public cemeteries. Closing this loophole ensures all veterans are able to honor their loved ones from their final resting place,” said Sinema, a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

“The VFW, Department of Arizona, shares the Senator’s belief that the inseparable bonds of a family follow many of our nation’s veterans to their grave. Many families were the primary inspiration of those who have served this nation and shared the triumphs and tragedies that befall our military men and women. So, we believe that no matter where our heroes choose to rest for eternity, the names of those who faithfully supported, cared for, suffered with, and loved them, should be placed on any marker along with them. That is the act of a morale and compassionate nation,” said Jim Ellars, VFW, Department of Arizona, National Legislative Officer.
The Honoring Veterans’ Families Act ensures all veterans who pass away on or after October 1, 2018 are able to have the Department of Veterans Affairs include information about deceased spouses and dependent children on headstones or grave markers, regardless of the type of cemetery in which they are located.
Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) introduced companion legislation to the Honoring Veterans’ Families Act in the U.S. House. 
Sinema’s Honoring Veterans’ Families Act is supported by the American Legion, the Department of Veterans Affairs, AZ Department of Veterans’ Services, the Vietnam Veterans of America, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.