State funding sought for proposed Augusta veterans cemetery

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – It’s seen as a place of honor one day.

There is a proposal for two hundred acres near Gracewood to be the home for a state veterans cemetery.

“This is a reality for us to appropriately establish a place that honors our men and women of our armed forces,” said Don Clark of the State Veterans Cemetery Initiative.

To get the state cemetery built, organizers have sought a V.A. cemetery grant, but now, they are telling city leaders the V.A. has more requests than funding, and Augusta is not making the cut.

“The V.A. grant program only holds about $50 million a year. It would have to be in excess of $200 million to get down to Augusta on the priority list,” said Bob Young, who is the Co-Chair.

So, now to get the cemetery, organizers are taking a new direction to find $11 million for construction: the General Assembly.

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“So, now our plan is to present this to the state for them to cover the initial cost of installing the cemetery, building it out, and everything,” said Clark.

Augusta commissioners have passed a resolution of support but were banking on the V.A. grant for the cemetery, but now, it’s up to the state to decide.

“It will be for a good cause; it won’t be wasted money,” said Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle.

“So, you think it’s a good effort to go after this?”

“Absolutely, especially for someone who is a military brat such as myself, it hits home,” Guilfoyle said.

Augusta veterans are heading to Atlanta on Tuesday to see if funding for veteran’s cemetery hits home with state lawmakers.

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