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house Bill H.R. 3789

Memorial Headstones for Soldiers Whose Burial Site is Unknown

Argument in favor

It doesn’t make sense for the VA to refuse headstones to the families of soldiers who died serving their country but whose exact gravesite is unknown. This bill rights that wrong.

05/30/2016
One of the biggest fears Veterans have is the fear of being forgotten with the passing of time. I don't mean a fear of being forgotten by family, friends, and loved ones, so much as I do our sacrifices being forgotten. My Father was a Vietnam Veteran who spent a year fighting in the jungles of Southeast Asia. As I grew older, I can remember talking with him about the battles he fought in, the friends he lost, and the lives he took. One of the things he said repeatedly was, "It never mattered what we did, two weeks after we took it they gave it right back." I grew up around Vietnam Veterans, and they all shared the same sentiment. After serving with and deploying with Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans, the sentiment is all the same. We don't want our spilled blood to be for nothing. When I think back to my own experiences, of when we deconstructed our Combat Outpost and withdrew from our Area of Operations, I thought to myself, "What did any of this accomplish?" I think about the lives lost there, the sustained casualties, the immeasurable efforts we all gave to make Imam Sahib a better place, but now the Taliban have reclaimed it and the city we once fought to keep safe is used as a staging ground for attacks into Kunduz City. Nobody wants to be forgotten when they die, that’s just a natural human emotion. When we pass, we want the years that we lived and everything we did to be remembered. I think this is even more important to a Veteran. We sacrificed for this Country, at the very least we feel that the Country should remember us when we are laid to rest under the playing of taps. The VA is there to look after, support, and take care of Veterans, and I know the VA of today is plagued with corruption and mismanagement. But at the very least, the one thing the VA should do is offer a headstone for those service members who gave their life while in defense of this Country. This way, even with the passing of time, they won’t be forgotten.
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operaman's Opinion
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05/27/2016
Yes, provide headstones to veterans- they earned recognition the hard way. Obviously, veteran bodies may not be found or recoverable. In this case, a notation on the headstone could clarify why body is missing or unturned somewhere else. Some Veterans were buried or lost at sea.
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Nancy's Opinion
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05/30/2016
Our veterans sacrifice much for the rest of us. Their service should be recognized and honored whether we know where their gravesite is located or not. In addition the cost of a gravestone is prohibitive to many military families. ALL of those that serve their country deserve our respect and recognition.
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Argument opposed

The VA shouldn’t provide headstones for fallen soldiers that may have another grave that hasn’t been located. If families want to purchase one on their own, they’re free to do so.

Dakota's Opinion
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05/30/2016
We have the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers. It represents all of the unknown and missing service members regardless of what branch they served.
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hdinkins's Opinion
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05/30/2016
This bill reeks of false patriotism from a Congress that has yet to provide adequate medical care for living veterans or servicepeople. Get your priorities straight.
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David's Opinion
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05/30/2016
This bill is about a civil war era soldier. It does not apply to any current era soldiers since the pentagon has much better data than one that time. We should the fallen rest in peace.
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    One of the biggest fears Veterans have is the fear of being forgotten with the passing of time. I don't mean a fear of being forgotten by family, friends, and loved ones, so much as I do our sacrifices being forgotten. My Father was a Vietnam Veteran who spent a year fighting in the jungles of Southeast Asia. As I grew older, I can remember talking with him about the battles he fought in, the friends he lost, and the lives he took. One of the things he said repeatedly was, "It never mattered what we did, two weeks after we took it they gave it right back." I grew up around Vietnam Veterans, and they all shared the same sentiment. After serving with and deploying with Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans, the sentiment is all the same. We don't want our spilled blood to be for nothing. When I think back to my own experiences, of when we deconstructed our Combat Outpost and withdrew from our Area of Operations, I thought to myself, "What did any of this accomplish?" I think about the lives lost there, the sustained casualties, the immeasurable efforts we all gave to make Imam Sahib a better place, but now the Taliban have reclaimed it and the city we once fought to keep safe is used as a staging ground for attacks into Kunduz City. Nobody wants to be forgotten when they die, that’s just a natural human emotion. When we pass, we want the years that we lived and everything we did to be remembered. I think this is even more important to a Veteran. We sacrificed for this Country, at the very least we feel that the Country should remember us when we are laid to rest under the playing of taps. The VA is there to look after, support, and take care of Veterans, and I know the VA of today is plagued with corruption and mismanagement. But at the very least, the one thing the VA should do is offer a headstone for those service members who gave their life while in defense of this Country. This way, even with the passing of time, they won’t be forgotten.
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    We have the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers. It represents all of the unknown and missing service members regardless of what branch they served.
    Like (18)
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    Yes, provide headstones to veterans- they earned recognition the hard way. Obviously, veteran bodies may not be found or recoverable. In this case, a notation on the headstone could clarify why body is missing or unturned somewhere else. Some Veterans were buried or lost at sea.
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    This bill reeks of false patriotism from a Congress that has yet to provide adequate medical care for living veterans or servicepeople. Get your priorities straight.
    Like (6)
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    Our veterans sacrifice much for the rest of us. Their service should be recognized and honored whether we know where their gravesite is located or not. In addition the cost of a gravestone is prohibitive to many military families. ALL of those that serve their country deserve our respect and recognition.
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    Respect the families of the fallen. Having the family pay just isn't right. This isn't a Hollywood star we're talking about here. This is a soldier's life.
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    These fallen soldiers should receive our praise wherever we can give it.
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    Show them the respect they showed our great nation when they volunteered to defend it.
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    To all who say "Why get a headstone if there's no body to bury? Where would you put it?" For one, if you actually read everything you would know that the case that spurred this bill involved a person who's relatives remains were discovered recently, and they were unable to obtain a headstone to bury him properly after all these years. Additionally, I'm saddened that you are so insensitive to think that a family who's lost a loved one to war doesn't want a spot to represent and memorialize them, or a spot in which to pay their respects. Body or no body, a ritual like visiting a headstone can help a family to feel closer to their lost one and to better cope with their loss.
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    They gave their everything for us, they deserve it either if they have speculation about it all
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    YES!
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    our vets deserve a head stone no matter what they deserve even more if unknown.
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    Have MERCY! Families still need an HONORARY Remembrance Headstone! Please and Thank You!
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    It's a small gesture which would cost hardly anything.
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    Because they dadgummed well deserve it!
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    It's simple. It's the least we can do. It's the right thing.
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    Dignity in death for all who served.
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    The gov't should take care of all our soldiers.
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    There is really no opposition to this argument. We need to respect our soldiers so give them burial sites
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    This bill is a low cost deal. We owe that much at least to our families that lost their loved ones defending our way of life!
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