LaMalfa & Panetta’s Legislation to Honor Families of Veterans Passes House

May 21, 2019
Press Release
(Washington, DC) – Congressman Doug LaMalfa (CA-01) and Congressman Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) issued the following statement after the House passed their legislation, the Honoring Veterans’ Families Act, which would allow the spouse of a veteran to be included on the veteran’s grave marker upon their death. Due to a flaw in current law, the Department of Veterans Affairs cannot include almost any information about the spouse of a veteran on a VA-provided tombstone at a non-VA cemetery.
 
LaMalfa said: “Our veterans and their families sacrifice a great deal for our country. They should be able to include the name of their spouse on their grave marker if they so choose. Northern California veterans noticed a flaw in current law prevents this from happening at non-VA cemeteries, and our legislation fixes that. A veteran buried at a VA cemetery or at Arlington National Cemetery can already do this if they choose, and there’s no reason why all places of burial shouldn’t accommodate it as well. Thank you to Mr. Panetta for joining me in this cause.”
 
Congressman Jimmy Panetta said: “The Honoring Veterans’ Families Act empowers the Department of Veterans Affairs to honor the service not just of our veterans, but also of their spouses.  The inscription of a spouse’s name on a grave marker is a small but deserved recognition of the huge sacrifice undertaken by spouses of those who served.  I appreciate the extensive work done on the bill by Representative LaMalfa as well as the support of many of our colleagues who voted for this bipartisan legislation.”
 
Rep. LaMalfa Urges Passage of the Honoring Veterans Families Act on the House floor. [YouTube]
 
Summary of legislation:
 
  • Upon request, the VA will replace the marker of a veteran to add an inscription about their spouse following the death of that spouse.
  • If the spouse passes before the veteran then, upon the death of the veteran, the marker furnished for the veteran’s grave will include an inscription about the spouse.
 
Congressman Doug LaMalfa is a lifelong farmer representing California’s First Congressional District, including Butte, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou and Tehama Counties.
 
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