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Central TX State Veterans Cemetery Getting Renovations

Central TX State Veterans Cemetery Getting Renovations

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KILLEEN, TX -

(KCEN) – The Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery is set for new renovations worth $4.9 million starting next month.

Currently there are nearly 5,000 veterans or family members buried or their ashes stored at the cemetery.  In February the money given by Veterans Affairs will go toward constructing 4,000 new double burial crypts. It's the biggest renovation project since the opening of the cemetery in 2006.

"The first one that passes away, the veteran or the spouse, will be buried first at the deepest, and then a when the second one passes they will be buried right above that, and then close it with a concrete top," cemetery director Charles Walden said.

Construction fences will enclose the acres where the new burials will be placed. Walden says the ground will be excavated so the crypts can and the concrete casing can be placed eight feet into the ground.

In addition to the new burials, Walden says they will also be implementing a new headstone realignment technique to keep the headstones straight and level. "In the military they live a straight and honorable life, and that's what we're trying to do here," Walden said. "We're trying to keep the families happy, and be proud of what they have here."

Over time weather can take a toll on the headstones, causing them to sag or lean. The cemetery has to use workers to continually make sure the headstones stay straight. The new renovations will put in concrete footings that the headstone will be placed on, saving the cemetery money and making sure they stay permanently straight.

Other small additions or renovations will be included in the upcoming construction, including the expanding the memorial walkway by eight feet.

"We want to have the best State Veterans Cemetery in Texas. You can look and just see the beauty in this place," Walden said.

Walden says the cemetery has a capacity to hold around 70,000 veterans or family members, depending on the number of cremations. With Fort Hood bordering the cemetery property, Walden says even more expansion could be possible in the future.

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