Hoeven, Veterans Groups Meet with Director of First VA National Cemetery in ND, Visit Site

Senator Has Worked to Ensure Veterans Receive the Healthcare and Recognition They Deserve

HARWOOD, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today hosted John Knapp, who will serve as director for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Cemetery in North Dakota, for a discussion in Harwood with veterans groups and local officials. Hoeven brought Knapp to the state to give local groups an opportunity to learn more about the project, the first VA national cemetery in North Dakota, and the process for building it. Knapp answered their questions during a Q&A session, which was followed by a site visit.

“We owe our veterans so much, and one of the ways that we can show our gratitude is to ensure their final resting place is close to family and loved ones,” Hoeven said. “The national cemetery in Cass County, the first VA national cemetery in North Dakota, will help to ensure that our state’s veterans receive the recognition they deserve for their selflessness and service in life.”

In July, the senator announced that the VA had purchased 4.82 acres of land in Cass County and will open the first VA national cemetery in North Dakota. The cemetery, which is being developed under the VA’s Rural Initiative, will serve approximately 24,388 veterans, their spouses and eligible family members located within a 75-mile radius of Fargo.

The new cemetery will complement 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, or 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.

Senator Hoeven has been working to ensure that all veterans, no matter where they live, receive the recognition and care that they have earned. Hoeven has worked to facilitate greater health care services for veterans in both rural and urban communities by allowing vets to see local health care and long-term care providers, such as nursing homes. As part of these efforts, the senator secured an agreement between the VA and Health Net to develop and start a pilot project at the Fargo VA Medical Center to ensure veterans receive quality care close to home.