Times-News: Plans Under Way for National Veterans Cemetery in Idaho

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Officials from the national Veterans Affairs office visited Idaho's Magic Valley last November in an attempt to scout a location for a new national veterans cemetery.

This morning's Twin Falls Times-News reports that Jerome Republican Rep. Maxine Bell was contacted by the V.A. in regards to building a national cemetery in the Gem State. Currently, only the state of Idaho manages a veterans cemetery, in Boise.

The Times-News reports that once the site is chosen and land is purchased, a new cemetery could be ready to go in two years.

Boise Weekly readers may remember our story of Madelynn Taylor, the 74-year-old Navy veteran, who recently was told by administrators of the state veterans cemetery that the ashes of Taylor and her same-sex partner would not be welcomed at the state-managed facility.

"Regardless of what our personal feelings might be in this matter, we have to honor, foremost, the state constitution," Tamara Mackenthun, deputy administrator at the Idaho Division of Veterans Services told Boise Weekly.

But precedent has already been set in federal veterans cemeteries. In February 2013, the same-sex spouse of an Air Force veteran was buried in Willamette National Cemetery, southeast of Portland, Ore. The burial was granted at the discretion of the U.S. secretary of Veterans Affairs.


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