The Virginia Department of Veterans Services held a check presentation and ground breaking at the Albert Horton Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery in Suffolk Tuesday morning.
The grant for $3.3 million will be used to retrofit the cemetery with pre-installed outer burial containers.
The cost of those containers was previously put on families and would run anywhere from $400 to $1,200.
“When these preinstalls are in, there will be no charge what so ever,” explained Paul Galanti, the Department of Veterans Services Commissioner.
Once the pre-installs are completed, the Suffolk state cemetery will be nearly identical to national veterans cemeteries.
“The State Veterans Cemeteries fill a need that we can’t fill with our national cemeteries – we have 131 national cemeteries – but they are not everywhere,” explained David Schettler, the Deputy Undersecretary for Management for the National Cemetery Administration.
The installation work will begin in mid-November and is expected to be complete by late Spring or early Summer 2013.