- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Dear Sgt Shaft:

What are the requirements for a veteran to be laid to rest at Arlington Cemetery?

J.C.,
Via the Internet

Dear J.C.:

The requirements for ground burial at Arlington National Cemetery are as follows:

• Any active duty member of the Armed Forces (except those members serving on active duty for training only).

• Any veteran who is retired from active military service with the Armed Forces.

• Any veteran who is retired from the Reserves is eligible upon reaching age 60 and drawing retired pay; and who served a period of active duty (other than for training).

• Any former member of the Armed Forces separated honorably prior to Oct. 1, 1949, for medical reasons and who was rated at 30 percent or greater disabled effective on the day of discharge.

• Any former member of the Armed Forces who has been awarded one of the following decorations:
— Medal of Honor.
— Distinguished Service Cross (Navy Cross or Air Force Cross).
— Distinguished Service Medal.
— Silver Star.
— Purple Heart.

• The president of the United States or any former president of the United States.

• Any former member of the Armed Forces who served on active duty (other than for training) and who held any of the following positions:

• An elective office of the U.S. government.

• Office of the Chief Justice of the United States or of an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

• An office listed, at the time the person held the position, in 5 USC 5312 or 5313 (Levels I and II of the Executive Schedule).

• The chief of a mission who was at any time during his/her tenure classified in Class I under the provisions of Section 411, Act of 13 Aug. 1946, 60 Stat. 1002, as amended (22 USC 866) or as listed in
State Department memorandum dated March 21, 1988.

• Any former prisoner of war who, while a prisoner of war, served honorably in the active military, naval, or air service, whose last period of military, naval or air service terminated honorably and who died on or after November 30, 1993.

• The spouse, widow or widower, minor child, or permanently dependent child, and certain unmarried adult children of any of the above eligible veterans.

• The widow or widower of:
— A member of the Armed Forces who was lost or buried at sea or officially determined to be missing in action.
— A member of the Armed Forces who is interred in a US military cemetery overseas that is maintained by the American Battle Monuments Commission.
— A member of the Armed Forces who is interred in Arlington National Cemetery as part of a group burial.
— The surviving spouse, minor child, or permanently dependent child of any person already buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
— The parents of a minor child, or permanently dependent child whose remains, based on the eligibility of a parent, are already buried in ANC. A spouse divorced from the primary eligible, or widowed and remarried, is not eligible for interment.

• Provided certain conditions are met, a former member of the Armed Forces may be buried in the same grave with a close relative who is already buried and is the primary eligible.

• Additionally the cremated remains of an honorably discharged veteran may be placed in the columbarium.

Shaft notes

Kudos to, the House of Representatives who recently affirmed its commitment to America’s veterans by passing four pieces of legislation helping and honoring veterans of all generations. Legislation included fixes to the Post-9/11 GI Bill to keep student veterans in the school of their choice (H.R. 1383 — as amended, 389-0); establishes a new process for the placement of monuments at Arlington National Cemetery, as well as enforcing the reservation process at Arlington (H.R. 1627 — as amended, 380-0); imposes penalties for small businesses claiming veteran-owned status (H.R. 1657, 382-1); and reissues the annual Cost-of-Living Adjustment for veterans and survivors (H.R. 1407 — as amended, voice vote). All bills were passed with overwhelming bipartisan support.

“The Committee listened to America’s veterans and acted. We worked diligently to pass thorough, thoughtful legislation that safeguards the men and women who protected us,” stated Rep. Jeff Miller, Florida Republican, chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. “From keeping our student veterans in school to preserving the integrity of Arlington National Cemetery by banning burial reservations to imposing penalties for businesses falsely claiming veteran status, these bills are needed to ensure America keeps its promises to our veterans.”The legislation now heads to the Senate for consideration.

“Today, a unanimous House voted to fix the mistakes in the Post-9/11 GI Bill made by the last Congress. I urge our colleagues in the Senate to take swift action and join us in solving this problem. The clock is ticking for 30,000 of our veterans attending universities across the country,” Mr. Miller said.

The Army and Air Force Exchange Service is focusing on active-duty, veteran, retired, National Guard and Reserve families’ career aspirations. Understanding that serving the military today means caring about the community’s tomorrow.

With more than 31 percent of approximately 43,000 associates identifying themselves as military family members and veterans accounting for another 12 percent of the workforce, the Exchange understands the unique perspectives its customers bring to “the other side of the cash register.”

“Their values of loyalty, professionalism and commitment are exactly what we look for when hiring,” said the Exchange’s Senior Vice President of Human Resources Jim Moore. “We know it’s difficult to start over with each transfer, which is why we developed special programs with spouses in mind.”“Hiring our military, their families and veterans is one small way we can support those who have sacrificed for us.”

Send letters to Sgt. Shaft, c/o John Fales, P.O. Box 65900, Washington, D.C. 20035-5900; fax 301/622-3330, call 202/257-5446 or email sgtshaft@bavf.org.