More than 1,100 commenters have weighed in on the Army’s planned changes to Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) eligibility criteria, and it’s not too late to add your voice.
Click this link to add your comment (before the Nov. 16 deadline), and this link to ask your lawmakers to act – they can intervene to stop changes that would exclude many 20-year military retirees from in-ground burial at Arlington and de-emphasize expansion efforts that would allow future generations to receive this final honor.
Unsure what to say? Here’s a sample of comments from fellow servicemembers, including many retirees:
- "Changing eligibility for FUTURE service members is Understandable. But those of us who have already vested our lives as Combat Veterans, should be vested in current eligibility. … The fact that I was fortunate enough to come home safely, I feel I should not be denied the Honor of burial at ANC."
- "If this change is to be adopted then it should only affect those who enter active duty after the effective date of the change. By doing so adequate space for currently eligible veterans will remain through at least 2050 if not longer. This would allow adequate time to continue to expand the current cemetery through the use of emanate domain laws during the intervening years."
- "The proposed changes are service- and mission-discriminatory. They risk communicating a diminished value of career-long service for those who were not involved in close combat and injured by the enemy, but who could have shared equal risks in combat, or in the air or at sea."
- "My bottom-line is that there is private land available for purchase to expand Arlington … . Please do the right thing and add land to Arlington especially in the tumultuous time."
- "Many families have already made their plans to be interned at the ANC. Changing the rules to no longer allow them to interned there would be not only unfair but would force them to amend their plans, many of whom are very elderly."
- "Consideration should be made to Grandfather currently eligible 20-year career service members who have served in combat zones. I will have to make other plans for my final resting place if the current proposed changes are approved."
These comments echo MOAA’s position on the criteria change. We have fought for the grandfathering of currently eligible retirees, pushed for the expansion of ANC (to include noncontiguous land), and pointed out flawed rationale in the creation of the criteria, to include a bias against some branches and mission types and an unrealistically long projection of ANC requirements of five generations into the future.
You have less than two weeks to add your voice to this important debate – if not for yourself and your family, then for those who joined you in uniform, past and present, and their families. Have your say and contact your legislators today.
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