According to a press release from Congressman Mike Thompson’s Office, dated 9/16/11:
Congressman Mike Thompson (CA-1) today announced that the Yurok Tribe in Humboldt County has been awarded a $3.3 million grant for the establishment of the Yurok Tribe Veterans Cemetary. The project will provide services to more than 2,500 underserved Native Veterans and their families. “The veterans of our local Tribes have served this nation with bravery and honor,” said Rep. Thompson. “They and their families have earned the right to visit the final resting place of these heroes without the hardship of having to travel hundreds of miles to do so. This new cemetery will be a distinguished memorial site for these Native American Veterans and their families.” “The Tribe is very honored and privileged to play such a substantial role in providing local native veterans with a final resting place, worthy of the valuable service they have given to our nation,” said Yurok Councilmember Richard Myers, who served in the Navy’s Submarine Unit from 1962-1966.
This grant will fund the construction of a main entrance, roads, an assembly area, a committal shelter, full casketed gravesites, cremains gravesites, landscaping, a memorial walkway and supporting infrastructure. The project will be developed on approximately five acres and will include 171 standard burial gravesites and 161 cremains gravesites. Currently, the closest national cemetery is VA’s Eagle Point National Cemetery in Eagle Point, Oregon, which is 175 miles away. The closest State Veterans Cemetery is the Northern California Veterans Cemetery in Igo, California, which is 125 miles away.
Approximately 90 percent of Yurok men of appropriate age served in World Wars I and II. A great number of Yurok women served too. Large portions of the population also served in Vietnam and are currently serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. According to the Department of Defense, more Native Americans serve in the United States military service per capita than any other ethnic group. Congressman Mike Thompson is proud to represent California’s 1st Congressional District, which includes the Counties of Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, Sonoma, Napa, and Yolo. He is a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Rep. Thompson is also a member of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition and sits on the bipartisan, bicameral Congressional Wine Caucus.