Bills to ensure proper burial, education for vets await presidential signature Legislation to require caskets, urns; highlight educational opportunities on Obama's desk
The Daily Commercial (Leesburg, Florida)
LEESBURG, Fla. — The Dignified Burial of Veterans Act, with language introduced in the House by Congressman Gus Bilirakis, R-FL, is now awaiting President Barack Obama's signature.
The bill requires the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide caskets or urns for veterans with no next of kin and insufficient resources to cover burial and funeral expenses.
The legislation comes after it was discovered that Pvt. Lawrence Davis Jr., a World War II veteran with no next of kin, was buried in a cardboard box at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell.
"America's veterans deserve to be laid to rest the same way they served this nation: With dignity and honor," according to a statement issued by Bilirakis, who is vice-chairman of the Veterans' Affairs Committee. "This legislation recognizes their service and ensures all veterans receive proper respect upon their passing."
Also sent to President Obama on Dec. 30 was the Improving Transparency of Education Opportunities for Veterans Act, also sponsored by Bilirakis.
The legislation enhances the Post 9/11 GI Bill, ensuring veterans' educational benefits are used most efficiently and effectively.
"I hope President Obama swiftly signs this important piece of legislation into law, so our nation's heroes can maximize their educational opportunities and reintegrate into the civilian workforce with the skills and training they need to succeed," the congressman said.
The bill highlights available educational resources to help GI Bill beneficiaries choose the school best meeting their educational needs.
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