NC was one of many states cutting their state VA budgets while we were sending troops into Iraq and Afghanistan, many from the bases within which garner huge sums of Federal dollars, long before the economic collapse. Then when it did they cut everything including the still ongoing cuts on taxes, old and new fee's grew to the rest, to the wealthy, once called job creators, that dug the states into deeper deficits and long term growing problems! Those 'problems' costs much more to fix then what was saved short term by not properly maintaining, much much more!!
NC4VETS NEWSLETTER - Country served love having ceremonies especially attended by those hired to represent, civilian attended family parades, the occasional memorial built, bumper stickers, occasional speeches and some, mostly unfunded, legislation passed with photo ops and more speeches, occasional revamping/renaming intended state agencies,..........................
“After a decade of neglect, the result is ugly and potentially unsafe state cemeteries.”
Four veterans’ cemeteries are under state management.
“Put it like this — other states operate at three times the staffing level,” said Ilario Pantano, who oversees veterans’ affairs at the new department. “So we’re really operating a skeleton crew against the need.”
January 30, 2016 - As the burial rate rises at North Carolina’s state-managed cemeteries for veterans, officials say they’re embarrassed by how bedraggled some have become.
And that’s inspiring a push for more spending — although some legislators are looking at alternatives.
Just this month, Gov. Pat McCrory publicly apologized to the family of a Marine who, before he succumbed to leukemia, had told his mother he didn’t want to be buried in the Jacksonville state veterans’ cemetery. Michael Boffo, who died in August 2014, had deemed the grounds a “mess” after touring the site for a dignified plot, and chose to be buried in Virginia, the family says.
“I’ve been to these cemeteries now, and frankly, they’re in bad shape and do not reflect the gratitude North Carolina’s citizens have for our veterans,” McCrory said Jan. 15 at a Gulf War anniversary event in Raleigh. He told the crowd he would ask the General Assembly to designate money for improvements. read more>>>
On the Federal front in 2008 North Carolina, while the Country had already followed the Bush Administration, some 72%plus support, in abandoning the missions and those sent to accomplish after 9/11, in Afghanistan, and invaded and also occupied Iraq, Sen.-elect Kay Hagan(D), now ex, and Rep Mel Watt(D), in the Obama admin Cabinet, and Larry Kissell(D), also ex, blocked Sen. Burr, ranking Republican member on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee and for a number of years after the same, the VA’s, especially under Republican conservative Administrations, continued commitment to privatize the Veterans Administration Medical Centers and the Agency, the people served responsibility to the few who've served them. The VA Hospital that Sen Burr was going after also has a National Cemetery on the grounds of. As the decades long conservative want to privatize all of government, for corporate profits off the peoples treasury, and thus added individuals fee's as well, especially the Veterans Administration as they had in privatizing much of the Military, we still haven't paid the bills for the extremely expensive private merc army quickly built as to Afghanistan and Iraq invasions and occupations! In same time frame, remember the Military Care Walter Reed Hospital scandal that conservatives in Congress quickly stated that it was moving soon so no need to fund much needed upgrades after long neglecting, the drawings for hadn't been done nor certainly construction started, while they rubber stamped all borrowed costs, and fully supported, the Bush Admin war drums of Afghanistan and Iraq!!
Meanwhile and long before the states started cutting the already meager State Veterans affairs budgets the Obama Administration, with finally help from the Executive branches Cabinet, came in and started trying to build what the Country had long promised, as to more long wars and occupations were dumped in their laps, even with the conservative obstruction to, the Oath of a Strong VA system for the very few who serve them!
Bringing in Gen Shinseki, with a target on him after speaking truth to the Bush administration and Congress and getting quickly fired from the Military for doing so, to be Sec. of the Veterans Administration!
He in turn started hiring the extremely bright and tech savvy new younger veteran brothers and sisters - “Why in 2009 were we still using paper?” VA Assistant Secretary Tommy Sowers “When we came in, there was no plan to change that; we’ve been operating on a six month wait for over a decade.” 27 March 2013 - with their recent, multi tours in theater war experiences, to bring the VA into the 21st century, or try as hard as he and they could, despite the congressional obstructions, decades long! Complimenting the already mostly dedicated, not bring politics into the facilities where it doesn't belong, VA employee's which included older Veterans still fighting to address the long neglected and ignored or just plain outright denied issues by the country served and it's, conservatives especially, representatives! If the agency had been properly maintained and up to the advancing standards, and legislation, few and mostly near election cycles, passed in Congress was actually funded and not just to boost the, poser, patriotic creds of individual representatives, ahead of even like the care in theaters or R&D research that changes the care in the private sector Medical facilities benefiting all, especially those served, the Agency would have been saving in many area's and budgets properly distributed where needed!
National Cemetery Administration of the Veterans Administration taken on quickly under Sec. Shinseki, and like the many others addressed continuing under Sec. MacDonald, with the continued help from the Executive branch and it's Cabinet. Upgrading, better maintenance and cost saving improvements, like alternative energy sources, long ignored but still maintained under limited budgets existing cemeteries and building new cemeteries, including in states where they hadn't existed for the veterans of. A big boost need was the Recovery Act, i.e. Economic Stimulus Program, of which funds from were used for the National Cemeteries along with many other area's and issues, creating jobs and long term employment as well in the communities spent on upgrades and expansions and much needed new facilities built. still ongoing and still with obstructed Congressional budget funding, while they continue seeking out media hyped 'scandals' created from the inaction's and under funding of previous Congresses, and still with Executive branch Cabinet help where their budgets and charges under can help the Veterans community as well as the Military and their Families!