Sinema Meets VA Leader to Discuss Her Bill Expanding Veterans’ Burial Benefits

Oct 25, 2019

Senator’s bipartisan bill guarantees that all veterans and their families have access to the burial benefits promised to them

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema met with VA Undersecretary for Memorial Affairs Randy Reeves to discuss her bipartisan Honoring Veterans’ Families Act—legislation that ensures veterans in private cemeteries can honor their families on their gravestones. Undersecretary Reeves expressed support for

Sinema’s bipartisan bill during their meeting. 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. We’re working with the VA to ensure all veterans are able to honor their loved ones from their final resting place,” said Sinema, a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

Undersecretary Reeves served for 27 years in the Air Force and Navy, later serving in the Mississippi Veterans Affairs Board from 2011 to 2017. As Undersecretary for Memorial Affairs, he is charged with providing dignified burial services for veterans and eligible family members. This includes maintaining the cemeteries as national shrines; design and construction activities to establish new national cemeteries; overseeing memorial programs, including the provision of headstones, markers, medallions and Presidential Memorial Certificates; and administering federal grants to help states, territories and tribal governments establish Veterans cemeteries.