Fort Bliss National Cemetery to hold Saturday burials

Family, friends and loved ones visited graves at the Fort Bliss National Cemetery here following the Memorial Day ceremony May 30, 2016. Photo by Abigail Meyer, File photo.

Family, friends and loved ones visited graves at the Fort Bliss National Cemetery here following the Memorial Day ceremony May 30, 2016. Photo by Abigail Meyer, File photo.

By Jonathan LeBlanc, Fort Bliss Bugle Staff:

(El Paso, Texas, Nov. 2, 2017)

Fort Bliss National Cemetery will be one of six national cemeteries that will offer weekend cremation burial services the first Saturday every month, beginning Saturday.

The five other national cemeteries offering this pilot program for weekend burial services are Florida National Cemetery, Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, Fort Snelling National Cemetery, Riverside National Cemetery and Calverton National Cemetery, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration.

James Porter, director, Fort Bliss National Cemetery, said he and others who work at the cemetery pride themselves on improving access to burial benefits while meeting individual needs of families.

An annual customer satisfactory survey indicated the need for extended services, Porter said.

“We want Veterans and their families to choose VA,” Porter said. “Our burial services should be convenient for families, loved ones, funeral homes and community members.”

The VA operates 135 national cemeteries and 33 Soldiers’ lots and monument sites in 40 states and Puerto Rico, according to a press release.

Fort Bliss will continue taking requests for weekend burial services for religious purposes.

The scheduling office is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Central Standard Time. Those who would like to schedule a Saturday service should call the national scheduling office at 1-800-535-1117.