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Upper Cumberland Veterans Cemetery Faces New Challenge In Getting Funded

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Upper Cumberland Veterans Cemetery Faces New Challenge In Getting Funded

While the state has again applied for money to fund an Upper Cumberland Veterans Cemetery, the chances of the project being funding do not look good.

That according to Patrick Rice, Assistant Commissioner of Cemetery Operations for the Tennessee Department of Veteran’s Services. The National Cemetery Administration wants every veteran throughout the nation to be 75 miles from a veterans cemetery. Rice said the federal organization said an Upper Cumberland facility would not serve any veterans currently under served.

“We’re not letting this deter us,” Rice said. “We are going to continue to apply for the grant. We are going to be meeting here soon to determine our path forward on how we are going to address these issues.”

Rice said the administration’s recent purchase of land near Chattanooga could further hurt the Upper Cumberland’s efforts. The fed purchased land in Megis County to expand the Chattanooga National Cemetery. That land would sit within 60 to 65 miles from the proposed White County site.

The Upper Cumberland Veterans Cemetery has faced an uphill battle since the state purchased 120 acres of land in White County for the proposed cemetery in 2020.

“We understand it’s been an important initiative from the community and has had an outpouring of support over the years, and just know we are, as an agency, doing everything we can to try to and to continue to moving this project forward,” Rice said.

Rice said Tennessee ranks low in the National Cemetery Administration grant priorities due to five veterans cemeteries already located in the state.

“We fall under this grant program, and the cost of this cemetery is several million dollar,” Rice said. “The grant program itself only receives $60 million a year to do expansions and improvements, so they have to make this money go as far as they can.”

The proposed site is along Country Club Road in White County. Rice said there is currently a submission packet for the grant in the hands of the National Cemetery Administration.


The post Upper Cumberland Veterans Cemetery Faces New Challenge In Getting Funded appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.