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National Guard, Reserve soldiers now eligible for burial at N.H. Veterans Cemetery

photo of tombstones with american flags
Dan Tuohy/NHPR
New Hampshire Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen (file photo)

State residents who served in the National Guard or as reservists can now be buried at the New Hampshire Veterans Cemetery.

Previously, interment at the cemetery in Boscawen was limited to those military members who had served on active duty, which David Mikolaities, New Hampshire Adjutant General, has called an “unfortunate loophole.”

In March, President Biden signed the Burial Equity for Guards and Reserves Act, sponsored by New Hampshire Rep. Chris Pappas and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, as part of the federal omnibus package. It allowed states to use their own discretion when deciding whether to inter people who are not otherwise VA eligible. The state Executive Council unanimously voted this week to allow the change in burial policy.

“It is a really, really good thing,” Warren Perry, the state’s deputy Adjutant General, told councilors. He said the state anticipates it will now inter about 50 newly eligible soldiers annually, along with their spouses.

“If you are a guardsman or reservist who is a resident of the state at the time of their death… there will be no cost,” Perry said.

There is a $350 interment fee for spouses.

The state’s Veterans Cemetery was constructed in 1997 on 104 acres of former public forest in Boscawen.

(Editor's note: this story was updated to reflect Sen. Shaheen's sponsorship of federal legislation.)

Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.
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