FAYETTEVILLE (AP) — Officials in a northwestern Arkansas are hoping a federal benefits program can help them bury the unclaimed remains of qualifying veterans at the Fayetteville National Cemetery.
The Department of Veterans Affairs unclaimed remains program would allow Washington County to be reimbursed $300 for burial costs. The program also may pay for a plot and transportation of the body, according to the agency’s website.
Unclaimed bodies become wards of the coroner, so the county must pay for the remains’ cremation and burial. Coroner Roger Morris says Washington County has spent about $2,000 this year on cremations.
Morris says eight of the unclaimed bodies he’s handled so far this year have been veterans. He says veterans whose bodies are unclaimed have earned the respect to be buried with military honors.