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Veterans cemetery in the works at Ford Ord

Posted: Monday, Oct 21st, 2013

MARINA — Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation earlier this month authored by Senator Bill Monning (D-Carmel) that will appropriate $1 million toward the non-reimbursed costs to construct the Central Coast State Veterans Cemetery at Fort Ord.

The appropriation in SB 232 will supplement the funds already raised by the community and provide the financial assurance needed for the California Department of Veterans Affairs to formally respond to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs’ grant offer announced earlier in October.

“The Governor’s signature on SB 232 is the culmination of a long journey we have been on with our local, state, and federal partners to move this cemetery project forward,” Monning said. “It is an honor to be able to make this contribution to the community and support the establishment of the veterans cemetery at Fort Ord.”

Assembly member Mark Stone (D-Monterey Bay), who is a co-author of the measure, said, “It’s exciting that the Governor signed this legislation to provide key funds for this important project. The partnership between the federal and state governments and the Central Coast community has worked hard to acquire these funds and make this veterans cemetery a reality.”

Additionally, the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) sent a letter to the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs announcing its intention to participate in the federal Veterans Cemetery Grants Service Program to build the cemetery at Fort Ord.

The $6.7 million grant will cover all construction costs associated with building Phase 1: Columbarium of the cemetery. The state can apply for future grants to build the additional phases of the cemetery.

"With CalVet's acceptance of the federal grant, California has made clear its intent to finally build a veterans cemetery at Fort Ord," said Rep. Sam Farr, D-Carmel. "Central Coast veterans worked hard to make this dream a reality and through a partnership with the state and federal government, that hard work has paid off with today's news."

The nearest veteran’s cemetery to Fort Ord is 50 miles away.

Fort Ord was the largest training base in the western United States and was the major staging ground for operations in the Pacific. Many World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War veterans trained at the former Army base.

When the base was closed in 1994, to honor that connection to many of today's veterans, land was set aside by the Fort Ord Reuse Authority for the construction of the cemetery.

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