published Monday, May 13th, 2013

Funding sought for veterans cemetery in the Upper Cumberland region

Upper Cumberland State Veterans Cemetery Steering Committee

Cumberland County: Mark Pfaffenroth, Bill Ward

Putnam County: Frank Favia, Jim Loftis

Van Buren County: Vern Curry, Les Conway

Warren County: Angie Higgins

White County: George Schneider, Ralph Griffith

A cemetery for military veterans could be coming to the Upper Cumberland region.

The Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs announced an initiative Thursday to build a new state veterans cemetery that would serve 14 counties. To do so, the department needs to find a proper place for burial. It also needs to raise money.

"Veterans and family members in the Upper Cumberland region currently have to drive to state veterans cemeteries in Nashville or Knoxville for services," Veterans Affairs Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder said in a statement. "It is our goal to establish a new state veterans cemetery within 75 miles from the veterans and dependents we serve in the Upper Cumberland region."

The department already has applied for a federal grant that would cover the construction costs. But to pay for the actual land, the department needs to go local: city, county or state funding. The department also can accept donations.

To find the proper land for the cemetery, the department has set up a committee that will look for three viable locations. The committee eventually will present these three places to department officials for consideration.

If built, the cemetery will accept veterans and qualified dependents who live in the following counties: Clay, Cumberland, Dekalb, Fentress, Jackson, Macon, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, Smith, Trousdale, Van Buren, Warren and White.

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