The Senate Veterans Committee recently passed legislation sponsored by Rep. Wendi Thomas (R-Bucks) to increase the amount of the benefit provided to those who perform burials with military honors for interred veterans at any one of the three national cemeteries.
“I’m especially pleased that the bill passed the committee the same week we celebrated Veterans Day,” Thomas said. “We as a commonwealth have benefitted so much from the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform that we must ensure they get the proper military burial at our national cemeteries.”
Currently, the Military Affairs section of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs provides $150 per day to the veterans groups that provide these burial details, an amount established in 1998.
House Bill 1421 will increase the provision to $250 per day.
“It is the least we can offer,” Thomas said.
Washington Crossing National Cemetery, which is in Thomas’ district, is fortunate to have the Guardians of the National Cemetery, a volunteer veterans group of 68 active members who spend five days a week at the cemetery rendering funeral honors for up to 10 burials a day.
“They do this in the heat of summer and cold of winter,” Thomas said. “And they are all volunteers.”
This per day allowance helps cover uniforms and equipment needed to honor deceased veterans.