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Home News Funds needed for NCA to run Arlington

Funds needed for NCA to run Arlington

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The Department of Veterans Affairs' National Cemetery Administration would take over control of scandal-rocked Arlington National Cemetery if asked. But the NCA also wants the funding it will require to properly run the nation's most heralded and cherished cemetery.

That's what David Schettler, director of Communications Management Service for NCA told The American Legion's Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation Commission on Saturday during the Legion's 92nd national convention in Milwaukee. The Legion has recommended in testimony to Congress that Arlington be placed under NCA's control. NCA and VA currently are working with Arlington to correct some of the problems at the cemetery, which included hundreds of unmarked or misidentified graves, and a dysfunctional management system.

"My boss, (VA under secretary for Memorial Affairs) Steve Muro, has said openly that, ‘If it's offered to us, yes, we'll take it, but you have to give us the funding for it,'" Schettler said. "There also would have to be some memorandums of agreement because Arlington is very unique. It would require an agreement with the Army Military District of Washington with the memorial stuff they do."

Schettler said that any talk of NCA taking over Arlington is, to his knowledge, premature.

"I am not aware of any detailed talks. If there are, they're at higher level than I know about," he said. "But we would be prepared to take (Arlington) on if given to us and funded properly."


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Did you know?

A veteran’s family must request a United States flag.

A flag is provided at no cost to drape the casket or accompany the urn of a deceased veteran. Generally, the flag is given to the next of kin. Only one flag may be provided per veteran. Upon the request of the family, an “Application for United States Flag for Burial Purposes” (VA Form 21-2008) must be submitted along with a copy of the veteran’s discharge papers. Flags may be obtained from VA regional offices and most U.S. Post Offices.