MOAA to Congress: Keep Eligibility Rules and Expand Arlington National Cemetery

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Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) will testify before Congress March 8, 2018, telling them to maintain current eligibility rules and expand Arlington National Cemetery.

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“It is important to respect end of life plans for currently eligible veterans and take reasonable steps to extend the cemetery for future servicemembers,” said Forrest Allen, associate director of government relations at MOAA.

Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) will tell Congress to maintain current eligibility rules and expand Arlington National Cemetery during testimony this week.

Forrest Allen, associate director of government relations at MOAA, will testify regarding the capacity of the cemetery during a House Armed Services Committee Military Personnel Subcommittee hearing. The hearing will be held March 8 at 10:30 a.m. at the Rayburn House Office Building.

“It is important to respect end of life plans for currently eligible veterans and take reasonable steps to extend the cemetery for future servicemembers,” Allen said.

In 2016, MOAA conducted a survey of its members and found most respondents favored continued current eligibility rules for burial, at least in the near term, even if that means closing the cemetery to future burials after it reaches capacity. In addition, respondents overwhelmingly rejected the idea of restricting military retirees, with the significant majority preferring expansion options as the initial course of action.

Under current burial rules, the cemetery could exhaust available burial space in 25 to 35 years. Congress and the Army continue to seek recommendations from stakeholders, such as MOAA and Arlington National Cemetery Advisory Committee, an independent federal advisory committee, for prolonging the cemetery’s capacity. Allen has participated in the advisory committee’s roundtables and assisted with the construction of its surveys about the cemetery’s future.

“Space for new burials is quickly running out at Arlington National Cemetery,” Allen said. “MOAA hopes servicemembers’ views on expansion and eligibility will guide the future of this revered final resting place.”

About MOAA:
Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) is the nation’s largest military officers’ association with more than 350,000 members from every branch of uniformed service, including active duty, retired, National Guard, Reserve, and former officers and their families and survivors. MOAA is a nonprofit and politically nonpartisan organization and an influential force in promoting a strong national defense. MOAA represents the interests of service members and their families in every stage of their lives and careers, and for those who are not eligible to join MOAA, Voices for America’s Troops is a nonprofit MOAA affiliate that supports a strong national defense. For more information, visit http://www.moaa.org or http://www.voicesfortroops.org/

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