SUFFOLK - A $3.3 million federal grant will help cover the cost of adding crypts to the Albert G. Horton Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery in Suffolk.

A U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs official handed over the ceremonial check Tuesday morning, explaining the money will be used to retrofit the cemetery with pre-installed double depth outer burial containers, or crypts. The crypts house the casket, protecting it from the weather.

'Federal cemeteries provide outer burial containers to veterans at no cost, and now Virginia will be able to offer veterans the same benefit, stated Virginia Dept. of Veterans ServicesCommissioner Paul Galanti.

Currently, veterans may pay between $400 and $1200 for an outer burial container.

Construction to install the outer burial containers is expected to begin in mid-November and the state expects to begin using the pre-installed containers by late spring or early summer 2013.

DVS operates three veterans cemeteries: the Albert G. Horton, Jr. Cemetery in Suffolk, the Virginia Veterans Cemetery in Amelia and the Southwest Virginia Veterans Cemetery in Dublin.

Service members who were honorably discharged qualify for burial in one of Virginia's veterans cemeteries. Veterans spouses and eligible dependent children may be interred for a small fee, currently $300.

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