The Department of Veterans Affairs announced this week that California will receive $6.7 million in funds to build the California Coast State Veterans Cemetary at Fort Ord.
“For 20 years, Central Coast veterans have worked tirelessly to build a cemetary at the former Fort Ord,” said Rep. Sam Farr, D-Carmel, in a statement.
The Tuesday announcement was hailed by Joe Love, a Hollister resident who is a National Guard veteran and state treasurer of the American Legion in California.
“I think it’s the most wonderful thing I’ve heard,” he said. “A lot of vets don’t have a lot of money to be buried at a regular cemetary.”
Many families have had to travel far to visit the gravesites of their deceased family members and veterans, he said.
Fort Ord was the largest training base in the western United States for years, where many World War II, Korean and Vietnam War veterans trained. The base was closed in 1994, and land was set aside for the cemetery’s construction.
“Veterans in our region have waited a long time for this good news,” said Assemblyman Mark Stone, D-Monterey Bay, in a statement.
California has allocated $1.5 million toward the project in its budget. After construction is complete, California can receive a reimbursement of the construction costs from the V.A.
“I hope that’s my final resting place when I pass away,” Love said of the planned cemetary.