Tester, Heller Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Extend Burial Rights to Veterans’ Families

Senators’ Bills Would Allow Family Members to be Laid to Rest with Veterans at Tribal, State Veterans’ Cemeteries

(U.S. Senate) – U.S. Senators Jon Tester and Dean Heller have introduced bipartisan legislation to ensure veterans can be respectfully laid to rest alongside their spouses and children. 

While national and state veterans’ cemeteries allow immediate family members to receive memorial headstones alongside their loved ones, the benefit only extends to family members who passed away after 2006 and does not extend to family members of veterans buried in tribal veterans’ cemeteries. The Senators' bipartisan legislation extends this eligibility to more spouses and children, as well as to all tribal veterans’ cemeteries.

“A veteran’s headstone is an eternal testament to ‎bravery, service and sacrifice,” said Tester, Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “Veterans have earned this right, but no family should be forced to choose between h‎onoring their loved one’s service or resting in peace together. This legislation does right by veterans who have paid the ultimate sacrifice, and their loved ones.”‎

“A veteran’s final resting place serves as a permanent reminder that the freedoms and liberties Nevadans enjoy are because of the very selfless sacrifice of those who have answered our nation’s call to serve,” said Heller, member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “As a strong supporter of ensuring veterans’ and their families can access the benefits and care they’ve been earned, I’m proud to work with Senator Tester on these commonsense, bipartisan bills that will allow families to be laid to rest alongside their veteran family members. I’m hopeful Congress will approve these pieces of legislation swiftly and send it to the President’s desk to be signed into law.” 

Montana is home to one tribal veterans’ cemetery and three state veterans’ cemeteries. Nevada is home to two state veterans’ cemeteries.