Veterans

October 21, 2013

Group wants grass replanted at military cemetery

A group of veterans, relatives of buried soldiers and others are continuing their efforts to convince the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs to replant grass a military cemetery in West Texas.

The landscape of the Fort Bliss National Cemetery in El Paso, Texas, reflects that found in the rest of the city. As part of drastic measures to stabilize its water supply, El Paso in the last two decades has ripped up grass from many public places, installing rock and cactus gardens and encouraging residents to do the same in their homes.

The Fort Bliss National Cemetery in 2007 was transformed by a $4.2 million xeriscaping project, which incorporates gravel and rock designs with plants that are accustomed to the dry climate.

Earlier this year, the cemetery received the Texas Environmental Excellence Award for saving about $400,000 a year in reduced water costs, labor fertilizer and pesticides.

But the El Paso Times reported that 68-year-old veteran Frank Winslett began a campaign six weeks ago to pressure federal officials to replant grass at the cemetery.

Winslett says the cemetery would look better with grass and would allow family members to kneel down next to their relatives’ graves and honor their loved ones the same way it is done at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

It looks like a potter’s field, it looks like crap, Winslett said. The veterans have sacrificed so much, they don’t deserve to be treated with this much disrespect.

Fort Bliss National Cemetery officials declined to comment.

It’s trashy and the worse national cemetery in the nation, said Gary Hamilton, who was visiting his father’s grave Oct. 19. It just looks like a desert.

Richard Cerros, a spokesman for U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, said the El Paso Democratic congressman supports the efforts to bring grass back to the cemetery. It may cost $11 million to $14 million to transform the landscape and to maintain it for one year, Cerros said. AP




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Hagel orders overhaul of POW/MIA identification agencies

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced March 31 that he’s ordered an overhaul of the Pentagon agencies responsible for recovering and identifying the remains of America’s war dead. The reorganization seeks to consolidate the mission, improve efficiency and increase the number of remains identified by the two key agencies charged with POW-MIA accounting efforts — the...
 
 

Half of vets on G.I. Bill graduate, report estimates

A little more than half of the veterans who got college money under the GI Bill since 2009 eventually graduated, though many took longer to do it, a new study estimates. The report released March 214 estimated that 51.7 percent of student veterans earned a degree or certificate for some kind of higher education. That’s...
 
 

Veterans unemployment rate dropped in 2013

The unemployment rate for Iraq- and Afghanistan-era veterans dropped in 2013, according to Labor Department statistics announced March 20. The unemployment rate fell to 9 percent last year for veterans who served on active duty since September 2001. The jobless rate for all veterans also edged down to 6.6 percent. Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez...
 

 

Soldier missing from Vietnam War accounted for

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced March 18 that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from the Vietnam War, were recently accounted for and will be buried in a group burial ceremony. Army SSgt. Lawrence Woods of Clarksville, Tenn., will be buried as part of group on March 21, at Arlington National...
 
 

Care, benefits for vets strengthened by $164 billion VA budget

Continuing the transformation of the Department of Veterans Affairs into a 21st century organization, the president has proposed a $163.9 billion budget, a 6.5 percent increase over fiscal year 2014, that will support VAís goals to expand access to health care and other benefits, eliminate the disability claims backlog, and end homelessness among veterans. The...
 
 

Upcoming reunions

April 2-6 15th Med Bn 1st Cav Div. Orlando, Fla. For more information about this reunion, contact Leo Williams at (407) 277-5763 or email dragin52@hotmail.com.   April 3-5 4th Bn 39th Inf Rgt 9th Inf Div (Vietnam, 1966-1969) San Antonio, Texas For more information about this reunion, contact Jim Haines at (303) 809-1815 or email...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>