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Cuts Mean Veterans Wait Longer for Arlington Burial

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ima Black, widow of the first Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy , Delbert Black, visits the grave of her late husband on Sept. 27. US Navy Photo

ima Black, widow of the first Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy , Delbert Black, visits the grave of her late husband on Sept. 27. US Navy Photo

The ten percent sequestration cuts across the Department of Defense budget will increase wait times at Arlington National Cemetery, a cemetery spokesperson told USNI News on Thursday.

Due to the cuts funerals will drop from 31 interments a day to 24, or about 160 less funerals a month, according to preliminary estimates from the cemetery.

“That reduction would impact wait times as well, which currently range from 30-days for burials without honors to three months for full honors,” read a statement provided by the cemetery.
“We are working to reduce what we can without impacting funerals, and will, no matter what, bury those killed in action in accordance with current policy.”

KIA funerals typically take place, “within two weeks of receipt of the bodies of the fallen,” reported Wired’s Danger Room blog on Thursday.

Deference to veteran burials have recently been given to Marines and soldiers, with wait times of 78 and 82 days respectively, according to a 2011 report from The Washington Post.

Airmen waited 98 days, while sailors waited on average a 100 days to be interred at the cemetery.

Those wait times are likely to increase with the cuts, but the extent now is still unknown.

“There is no question cemetery operations — as well as our ability to accommodate visitors —  will be seriously impacted,” the cemetery said.

  • gray_eagle

    The budget reductions have crippled most government organizations. Instead of eliminating organizations that have little to no value to the American people, most all government organizations are operating at the pauper level. Across-the-board is never a good idea. A competent manager knows where cuts can be sustained and where they cannot. The wrong people are making these decisions.