State guardsmen, US reservists to be eligible for Arizona Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery burials

Nov 9, 2023, 4:00 PM

PHOENIX – Thanks to a change in state and federal laws, members of the Arizona National Guard and U.S. military reservists will soon eligible for burial in Arizona Veterans’ Memorial Cemeteries.

The policy change will go into effect Jan. 1, 2024. It is the result of the Burial Equity for Guards and Reserves Act signed by President Joe Biden last year and a bill overwhelmingly passed by the Arizona Legislature earlier this year and signed by Gov. Katie Hobbs in August.

“We are now able to provide burial services and memorialization to those who otherwise would not have qualified for this benefit under the National Cemetery Administration guidelines,” Joe Larson, administrator of the Southern Arizona Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery in Sierra Vista, said in a press release Tuesday.

The Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services operates three cemeteries for veterans, in Sierra Vista and Marana in southern Arizona and at Camp Navajo in Bellemont, west of Flagstaff.

“Honoring all of our service members and their families equally from every branch and component of the military is fundamental to our commitment to ensure there are no barriers to the benefits and services they have earned,” Arizona Veterans’ Services Cabinet Executive Officer Dana Allmond said in the release.

Information about interment at the Arizona Veterans’ Memorial Cemeteries can be found at the state Department of Veterans’ Services website.

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State guardsmen, US reservists to be eligible for Arizona Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery burials