Elko, Nev. – Today, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) joined veterans in Elko to discuss her work to secure approval for the Elko National Cemetery. Senator Cortez Masto was instrumental in the approval of this rural national cemetery, which will for the first time provide burial benefits in the Elko region to approximately 3,700 veterans and their eligible family members. During the roundtable discussion, Cortez Masto also discussed legislation she helped pass to support Nevada’s veteran community, including the recently signed bipartisan PACT Act.
“Elko has a strong and inspiring veterans community, and I’ve worked hard in the Senate to deliver for them and their families,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “From cutting through red tape to ensure Elko was approved for a new national veterans cemetery to passing bipartisan legislation to provide critical health care and benefits to America’s veterans, I’ll always stand up for Nevada’s veterans.”
“We’re incredibly grateful for Senator Cortez Masto’s advocacy with the VA to secure the construction of a National Veterans Cemetery in Elko,” said Gil Hernandez, Commander of Elko’s Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2350 and member of the Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery Advisory Committee. “We’ve been working to secure this cemetery for years and it’s completion will mean so much to our veteran population and their families.”
Before being approved earlier this year, Elko had been under consideration for a veterans cemetery since 2011, when the VA’s Rural Initiative identified the area as in need of a National Veterans Burial Ground. The closest veterans cemeteries for regional veterans and their families are currently over 200 miles away – in either Fernley or Salt Lake City. Senator Cortez Masto’s efforts have been instrumental in speeding up the process and securing a final commitment from the VA to begin construction on the Elko site. She’s called on both the VA and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to support her efforts to create the Elko Veterans Cemetery, and she previously introduced legislation to authorize the creation of the burial ground.
Senator Cortez Masto is a champion in the Senate advocating for our veterans and their families. In August, she voted to pass vital legislation to treat veterans exposed to toxins in the line of duty. In December, her legislation to protect VA benefits for student veterans was signed into law. She recently introduced bipartisan legislation to make it easier for veterans who have a service-related medical condition to get the benefits they are owed. Cortez Masto has passed legislation through the annual National Defense Authorization Acts (NDAA) to help veterans exposed to Agent Orange get the treatment they need. As part of the NDAA of 2021, she secured measures to improve mental health services for members of the National Guard and Reserves, support veterans in getting the retirement benefits owed to them, and increase the transparency and efficiency of the Department of Defense’s TRICARE medical billing practices.