February 18, 2014, 08:00:00 AM
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced the names of two new VA national cemeteries planned in Florida – the Cape Canaveral National Cemetery in Scottsmoor and the Tallahassee National Cemetery in Tallahassee.
“These two new cemeteries are a priority for the growing Veterans’ community in Florida,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “As VA moves forward with these new cemeteries, Veterans, their spouses and families can have peace of mind knowing that they have a final resting place in a nearby national shrine.”
The Cape Canaveral National Cemetery is planned for a 318-acre parcel located in close proximity to U. S. Route 1 in northern Brevard County in Scottsmoor, approximately two miles from Interstate 95 and 12 miles north of Titusville. The cemetery will serve more than 163,000 Veterans, spouses and their eligible dependents living in the central eastern Florida area.
The initial phase of construction will provide more than 17,000 gravesites. VA purchased the central eastern Florida property, formerly known as Acosta Groves, for $2.1 million on July 31, 2012.
The Tallahassee National Cemetery is planned for a 250-acre parcel in Leon County, with frontage along U.S. Highway 27 (Apalachee Parkway) and Old St. Augustine Road near March Road east of Tallahassee. The cemetery will serve 83,000 Veterans and their eligible dependents in the Tallahassee area, as well as southwestern Georgia and southeastern Alabama. The initial phase of construction will provide more than 6,000 gravesites and an earlyturnover area so that the cemetery can begin burial operations soon after construction begins. VA purchased the Tallahassee property for $6.8 million on Aug. 14, 2012, from the St. Joe Company.
Veterans with a qualifying discharge, their spouses and eligible dependent children can be buried in a VA national cemetery. Also eligible are military personnel who die on active duty. Other burial benefits available for eligible Veterans, regardless of whether they are buried in a national cemetery or a private cemetery, include a burial flag, a Presidential Memorial Certificate, and a government headstone or marker.
In the midst of the largest expansion since the Civil War, VA operates 131 national cemeteries in 39 states and Puerto Rico and 33 soldiers' lots and monument sites. More than 3.8 million Americans, including Veterans of every war and conflict, are buried in VA’s national cemeteries.
In 2013, NCA achieved a customer satisfaction index of 96, the highest American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) score in either the private or public sector in the history of the ACSI. The score is nearly 28 points above the 68 point average for federal government agencies.
Information on VA burial benefits can be obtained from national cemetery offices, from the Internet at www.cem.va.gov, or by calling VA regional offices toll-free at 800-827-1000. To make burial arrangements at any VA national cemetery at the time of need, call the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at 800-535-1117.
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