GRAND ISLAND – The Hall County Hero Flights Association will present a check for $750,000 to the State of Nebraska at the former Grand Island Veterans’ Home Cemetery on July 28th at 10:00 a.m. The funds will be used for the establishment of the Nebraska Veterans’ Cemetery at Grand Island and represent 10% of the proposed cost of the $7.5 million project, a requirement for the project to be eligible for a veterans cemetery grant from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Cemetery Administration (NCA).
Through community fundraising efforts and a loan from the Hall County Board, the team has met the 10% match requirement in a mere 90 days. The VA can provide up to 100 percent of the development cost for an approved project, and the 10% upfront match would be returned to the State of Nebraska to be used towards additional cemetery projects and improvements. The new state cemetery will incorporate the existing cemetery, with plans for a memorial area, burial areas, a committal shelter, flag assembly, administration and maintenance buildings, as well as space for future burial areas.
In attendance at the ceremony will be Lt. Governor Mike Foley, Nebraska Department of Veterans’ Affairs (NDVA) Director John Hilgert, and Hall County Hero Flight Association Chair Don Shuda, as well as members of the Nebraska Veterans’ Cemetery at Grand Island community advisory committee, Hall County Hero Flight Association, and NDVA. The event is open to the public.
The NCA veterans cemetery grant program assists states, territories and federally recognized tribal governments in providing gravesites for veterans in those areas where VA’s national cemeteries cannot fully satisfy their burial needs. Grants may be used only for the purpose of establishing, expanding, or improving veterans cemeteries that are owned and operated by a state, federally recognized tribal government, or U.S. territory. Full details on the NCA grant program are available at https://www.cem.va.gov/cem/grants/information_kit.asp.