Hoeven: North Dakota's First VA National Cemetery Will Help Give Veterans the Recognition & Honor They Deserve

Senator Secured Funds for NCA’s Rural Initiative, Helped Advance New Veterans Cemetery in Harwood

HARWOOD, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today helped dedicate the first Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Cemetery in North Dakota. As a member of the Senate Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Committee, Hoeven has worked to secure strong funding for the National Cemetery Administration (NCA) and its Rural Initiative, which supported the creation of this cemetery. Further, the senator brought John Knapp, who serves as director for the VA National Cemeteries both at Fort Snelling and in North Dakota, to the state to give local leaders, veterans and veteran service organizations an opportunity to learn more about the project.

“Bringing this VA National Cemetery to Harwood is one more part of our efforts to ensure our veterans receive the recognition they deserve,” said Hoeven. “Its presence will allow North Dakotans who have served to be laid to rest with honor, while being close enough to their homes for family and loved ones to easily visit and pay their respects. I appreciate the NCA for working with us to advance this project.” 

The new cemetery complements the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery in Mandan, a state-operated cemetery. Burial in a VA national cemetery is open to all members of the armed forces and veterans who have met minimum active duty service requirements and were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. 

Members of the reserve components of the armed forces who die while on active duty, while on training duty, were eligible for retired pay or were called to active duty and served the full term of service, may also be eligible for burial. Their spouse, widow or widower, minor children and, under certain conditions, unmarried adult children with disabilities may also be eligible for burial.

Efforts to Benefit Veterans

Hoeven has worked throughout his time in the Senate to strengthen health care, benefits and recognition for the nation’s veterans. His efforts include:

Health Care

  • Expanding mental health care and suicide prevention services for veterans undergoing treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.
    • This week, Hoeven announced that the Fargo VA Health Care system has been added to the VA’s hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) clinical demonstration program, giving veterans in the region access to this alternative treatment option.
  • Improving veterans’ ability to access health care closer to their homes.
  • Enabling more long-term care providers to accept veteran patients.
  • Ensuring veterans’ community care appointments are scheduled promptly.


  • Restoring health benefits coverage for Agent Orange exposure to Blue Water Navy veterans who served off the coast of Vietnam.
  • Protecting veterans’ benefits if they need to file for bankruptcy.
  • Supporting flight training services for veterans who want to become commercial airline pilots.


  • Opening American Legion membership to more than 1,600 veterans who were honorably discharged and served in unrecognized times of war since WWII.
  • Working to ensure that the 74 sailors who lost their lives on the USS Frank E. Evans are honored on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.