Nolan Urges Full Restoration of Military Funeral Honors Program
[WASHINGTON D.C.] U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan today urged the Secretaries of Defense and the Army to restore full funding for the Minnesota Army National Guard’s Military Funeral Honors Program. Federal law states that eligible Veterans are entitled to receive military honors at their funerals; however, the approximately $400,000 cut faced by the Minnesota Army National Guard (ANG) puts this program at significant risk.
“Our brave patriots put their lives on the line for us and we owe more than can ever be repaid,” Nolan said in a letter to Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning. “The very least we can do is express our solemn gratitude for their ultimate dedication to our great nation by providing a proper salute.”
On average, the Minnesota ANG conducts and supports roughly 416 funerals per month. This funding cut means soldiers will be cut from full time funeral honors and there will only be twelve soldiers left to cover the entire state. To ensure coverage of all funerals, the Minnesota ANG will have to rely on their M-Day force, which creates a conflict because these part time soldiers have other jobs and can help only as their schedules allow.
“The fact is, the Minnesota ANG’s Military Funeral Honors Team is nationally recognized as one of the best programs in the country and it is a disservice to them and our Veteran’s families to cut their funding.”