Thursday, September 20, 2007

Fort Riley Post Cemetery: 'We are full'

Above: The Fort Riley Post Cemetery was established in 1854. Fort Riley has lost 133 soldiers and airmen in Iraq, though not all are buried there. Left: Joel Murray, who died September 4 in Iraq, was laid to rest in the last available plot.

A Kansas military cemetery has run out of space after the burial of another casualty of the Iraq war, officials said on Thursday.

"We are full," said Alison Kohler, spokeswoman for the Fort Riley U.S. Army post, home of the 1st Infantry Division.

U.S. Sens. Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts, both Kansas Republicans, on Thursday sent a letter to William Tuerk, the under secretary for memorial affairs at the Department of Veterans Affairs, urging for full funding for a new cemetery for Fort Riley.

"While a new cemetery would not be completed in time to alleviate this situation immediately, it is vitally important," Roberts and Brownback, a Republican presidential candidate, said in their letter.

"We truly owe our military members a debt of gratitude and the least we can do is provide them with an honorable burial ground," the senators wrote.

Read the rest at Reuters/Alternet