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Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam announces new state Veterans cemetery

 

Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery at Parkers Crossroads

Tennessee Department of Veterans AffairsNashville, TN – Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder today announced the future site of the fifth state veterans cemetery will be in Parkers Crossroads.

The 132-acre Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery at Parkers Crossroads will be located at 693 Wildersville Road and will serve more than 45,000 veterans and their families within 17 counties in west Tennessee.

The Tennessee counties within a 75 mile radius of the proposed cemetery include Benton, Carroll, Chester, Crockett, Decatur, Gibson, Hardeman, Hardin, Haywood, Henderson, Henry, Lewis, McNairy, Madison, Perry, Wayne, and Weakley counties.

“Right now veterans and their families in this part of the state have to drive more than two hours to the nearest state veterans cemetery,” Haslam said. “We want veterans in the more rural parts of the state to have access to these resources that also serve as a symbol of our gratitude for their service to our country.”

Haslam was also joined by state Rep. Steve McDaniel (R-Parkers Crossroads), state Sen. Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville), Parkers Crossroads Mayor Kenneth Kizer, Henderson County Mayor Dan Hughes and West Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery Steering Committee Chair Chris Dangler.

“We are grateful to the members of the West Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery Steering Committee, the mayors of the seven counties who invested local funding and support as well as the Governor, Rep. McDaniel and Sen. Gresham who have supported this effort from the beginning,” Grinder said. “We still have several funding hurdles to jump through before this project becomes a reality, but we are excited to announce we are one step closer to opening the fifth state veterans cemetery to better serve veterans in southwest Tennessee.”

“The rich history of Parkers Crossroads is a perfect location for a future State Veterans Cemetery,” McDaniel said. “We have anxiously waited to hear this news and we welcome the opportunity to offer a reverent backdrop to this future field of honor.”

“Veterans are buried at no charge in these pristine cemeteries that offer a place of reflection and reverence,” Gresham said. “We look forward to adding another jewel to the existing four state veterans cemeteries.”

There are currently two state veterans cemeteries in Knoxville, one in Nashville and one in Memphis. Veterans and eligible dependents can pre-register for burial by visiting the State Veterans Cemetery page.

There are four existing State Veterans Cemeteries to include two in Knoxville, one in Nashville and one in Memphis which were established between 1990 and 2011.

Fact Sheet

  • In 2011, the Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs (TDVA) started the process to establish additional State Veterans Cemeteries within 75 miles of the rural Tennessee Veteran population.
    o Public Chapter No. 73 amends TCA 46-6-101 to allow the establishment of additional Veterans cemeteries as needed.
    o West Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery Steering Committee of community members formed in 2011 to offer local perspective, raise local awareness, raise local funding/donation and recommend potential sites.
  • The West Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery Steering Committee (WTSVCSC) recommended 693 Wildersville Road in Parkers Crossroads on April 8, 2013.
  • Property valued at $1,300,000.00, but land owners Martin and Jimmy Yarbro donated $200,000 to the state project bringing the purchase price down to $1,100,000.00.
  • Governor appropriated $350,000.00 for the land acquisition in the Appropriations Act of 2013.
  • An estimated $361,000 in local funding, donations and pledges have been received by the WTSVCSC. $206,800.00 in local funding was used for the land acquisition.
  • Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs made up the difference which was $593,200.00
  • Land purchased by the State of Tennessee on June 28, 2014.
  • TDVA has submitted for a federal grant from the Veterans Cemetery Grants Program which is administered by the National Cemetery Administration, a division of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • Construction costs estimated at $5,500,000.00, which will have to be approved and provided by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans Cemetery Grants Program.
  • Pending federal funding approval and available state appropriations for operational costs, the future Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery at Parkers Crossroads could potentially open by the fall of 2016.

About the Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs

For more information about the Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs and existing State Veterans Cemeteries, visit the department’s website at www.tn.gov/veteran, facebook.com/myTDVA or stay up to date by following the department on twitter @TNDVA.


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