TRENTON, NJ – Legislation sponsored by Senator Robert Singer and Senator Kristin Corrado to aid and honor deceased military members and their families was signed into law today by Governor Murphy.
“I am pleased that this legislation was signed today. All veterans and their families deserve to be laid to rest with dignity,” said Singer (R-30). “Knowing that there are unclaimed remains of deceased veterans, their spouses, and their dependents sitting in funeral homes or being buried without honor is heartbreaking. This legislation would ensure the remains of veterans’ loved ones can be claimed by a qualifying veterans’ organization, so they can receive the proper burial they deserve.”
The legislation signed today, A-2244/S-1770, would expand the eligibility of unclaimed veterans’ spouses and their dependents to be laid to rest in local, state, or national veterans’ memorial cemeteries.
Under the bill, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) would be responsible for reimbursement of the purchase of a casket or urn used to inter a deceased, unclaimed veteran in a VA national cemetery or a VA-funded State or Tribal Veterans’ cemetery—if the veteran died with no identifiable next of kin and insufficient resources to pay for a casket or urn.
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Similar programs have already been successfully launched in a number of states, including Florida, Arizona, North Dakota, and Idaho.
“I am proud that this legislation will be enacted today. Memorials for members of the military, and their loved ones, should be celebrations of life that honor the sacrifices these families made on behalf of all American families,” added Corrado (R-40). “Those who devoted their life to protecting our country should never be forgotten. Ensuring close family members of veterans are buried in a dignified manner is the least we can do.”