State officials want vets' cemetery in West Tennessee

PARKERS CROSSROADS, Tenn. (AP) -- State officials are looking at sites in West Tennessee to build a new state veterans' cemetery and hope to choose three finalists later this year.

Members at a steering committee meeting of the Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs in Parkers Crossroads on Thursday expressed a need for one in the 190-mile stretch between Nashville and Memphis.

"We definitely need a veterans' cemetery in this area," said Mark Breece, the department's assistant commissioner. Breece said the state must first own the land before a federal grant can be approved.

Breece said the state must provide funding for acquisition of the land once the location is found to meet all site-planning criteria, including a sufficient amount of acreage, electricity and gas, parking and adequate water supply and sewage.

"We don't want to buy a piece of land and find out it's not approved," he said.

The Jackson Sun reports that members discussed two available sites in Henderson County -- a plot on the east side of Tenn. 22 near Parkers Crossroads and a 100-acre site south of Lexington. Steering committee chair Mark Dangler said the land near Lexington is being offered up by a landowner and it is on a well-paved, two-way road.

State Rep. Steve McDaniel of Parkers Crossroads also attended the meeting and said he was impressed with the progress so far.

"You're going to be successful with this," McDaniel said.

The group will meet again in late June and have three final sites selected by the fall, Dangler said

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