BUSHNELL, Fla. (CBS Tampa/AP) — The director of the Florida National Cemetery says that if the government shutdown doesn’t end by Oct. 22, national cemeteries will have to reduce the number of veterans they can bury every day, furlough employees and limit the care they give to gravesites.
The Tampa Tribune reports that Kurt Rotar says that’s the day money already allocated to the national cemeteries will run out.
At the Florida National Cemetery, that would mean reducing the number of funerals — as many as 30 a day — by as much as one-third.
“They would have to wait,” Rotar said. “I would imagine that is tough on the families.”
Rotar told the Tribune that burials “are something they have earned.”
Rotar says he would have to reduce his workforce from 63 to 19 in Bushnell.
Grounds maintenance already has been reduced by the shutdown.
The shutdown would reduce the capacity of other national cemeteries in Florida as well.
“They are not a benefit, but an entitlement they earned with their honorable discharge,” Rotar told the Tribune. “I would not like to see those services interrupted for any reason. Hopefully it won’t come to that.”
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