Las Vegas Sun

November 18, 2017

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Letter to the editor:

Veterans already have cemetery here

Lately, I’ve read several letters demanding that Congress pay for a new veterans cemetery in Southern Nevada, using the argument that an area with such a large population of veterans does not have a cemetery. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Boulder City is a beautiful, tranquil setting for more than 20,000 people who served their country with dignity and honor. Granted, it is a state cemetery and not run by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, but much of its funding for upgrades and interments comes from VA grants.

Recent changes include a new administration building, a new maintenance facility, new landscaping, and a new entrance and parking area.

The forethought of the cemetery director, Chris Naylor, of moving the entrance from Buchanan Avenue to Veterans Memorial Drive shows a small part of the respect given to our fellow warriors.

I have been to the cemetery on many occasions and seen the professionalism of Naylor’s staff, with the care and dignity they provide to our dearly departed. I make it a point to stop in and speak with him to see what we can do to help continue his efforts. Community support is always appreciated.

However, the question is, do we really want another VA-run facility? Consider the dismal record of the VA Benefits Administration, with nearly a million backlogged claims for injured veterans, or the daily barrage of bad press from the VA health care system across the country, including recent news from our own $647 million hospital?

Rather than setting up a competing cemetery that becomes just another part of the god-awful VA bureaucracy, ask our congressional delegation to come together to push funding to pay for some of the enhancements Naylor has planned.

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