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Mayor talks cemetery start, VA Service officer search stopped

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The general meeting of Veterans helping Veterans on Feb. 12 had a special guest, Mayor Jackie McKinney. He took a few minutes from his busy schedule to let the veterans know that the appropriation money for the Veterans’ Cemetery had been approved and the work should be completed by 2017. The site selected for the final resting place of many area veterans is just off Hasler Valley Road and east of the National Guard building.

The state had set a date of Feb. 24 to begin interviewing applicants for the new VA Service Officer to be placed in Gallup. An office has been set up in the Ford Canyon Senior Center. Tyra Saavedra comes now twice a month from Grants to help out and it appears she may have to continue the trip for a while, since word has been received, according to David Cuellar, that Santa Fe has cancelled the interview and/or hiring process at this time. No further explanation was given at the time of the cancellation.

Gulf War veterans were also given a warning of an illness that seems to be spreading among their ranks. It is non-identifiable at this time but veterans of that conflict may receive compensation for the symptoms anyway. If a veteran of that era thinks they may qualify, go online to GulfWarVeterans/UnexplainedIllnesses or talk to Cuellar at the Fire Station on N. Second St. or by calling his cell at 505-879-3333.

By Tom Hartsock

Sun Correspondent