Members of a Duluth military honor guard says the government is nickel and diming the funerals of veterans.
According to the Duluth News Tribune, the federal government is cutting funding to the Minnesota National Guard’s Military Funeral Honors program, which follows the armed services code by providing two military members as an honor guard at funerals.
“It’s nothing short of contemptuous for the federal government to deny us this funding,” Honor Guard Capt. John Marshall said.
The MFH program supported 4,911 funerals across the state during the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. The funding cut means the program will be able to support only about 3,000 funerals this fiscal year, with the emphasis on funerals at Fort Snelling National Cemetery, the state veterans’ cemetery at Camp Ripley, and a second state cemetery under construction near Preston, Minn.
“I am going to do my best to cover everything else I can in the state but it is just not going to be possible,” Minnesota Military Funeral Honors State Coordinator Maj. (retired) Bastian “Chris” Vanhofwegen said.
How much are we talking about? Fifty dollars per funeral.