Aug 31, 2011 at 10:10 am
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The American Legion and other service organizations are looking for funding alternatives after learning the state will no longer pay for honor guards at veterans' funerals.
The state reimbursed service organizations up to $50 for each funeral. But, the funding wasn't included in the state budget because of a projected $5 billion shortfall. Groups including the American Legion will have to come up with more of their own money to provide the honor guards. And, Veterans Affairs Deputy Commissioner Reggie Worlds says service organizations are already struggling financially.
Bill Christenson directs the Honor Guard at the Albert Lea American Legion. His organization has been reimbursed $10,000 since 2008. Christenson tells Minnesota Public Radio News the funds paid for uniforms, mileage, rifle shells used during military salutes and musicians who played taps.