Visitors Upset About Grass at Fort Rosecrans

Veterans and their families said the dying grass is a troubling sight

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Crews are working to realign headstones and replace grass at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.

    The cemetery lawn at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in Point Loma is undergoing restoration to fix some unsightly dried-up grass.

    But the dying grass has some visitors upset. Veterans and their families said they think this is a troubling sight, and they want the problem fixed now.
     
    Visitors said it's a sign of disrespect to the men and women who served our country and helped defend our freedoms.

    Steve Raley traveled from Idaho, to pay respects to his father and mother buried at Fort Rosecrans.

    Poor Conditions Revealed at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetary

    [DGO] Poor Conditions Revealed at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetary
    Steve Raley tells NBC 7 that he's upset about the poor lawn conditions at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetary.

    "He came here, probably right after World War two. He came in the Navy,” he said. "He worked at Convair for over 35 years."

    But the first thing Raley and his wife noticed was the sorry shape of the lawn, at this national shrine for veterans.

    "Oh, yeah, these guys did everything they could for this country,” he said. “Country should take care of them a little better."

    Victor Langlois and his son, Jay, say the parched brown grass is an insult to the thousands of soldiers, sailors and marines, who fought the nation's battles.

    Jay lives in Korea, where Koreans are responsible for the upkeep of U.S. veterans' cemeteries.

    "And it's absolutely immaculate. And when I see this, taken care of by the U.S. government, it leaves me with a really bad impression,” he said.

    It’s not a case of neglect – crews are halfway through a major renovation at the cemetery. Roughly 9,000 headstones are being removed and realigned, row by row. A cemetery spokesman says the grass must be killed and removed, to do that.

    The irrigation system is also being upgraded, with fully automatic timers.
       
    But in a letter to the Department of Veterans Affairs, Congressman Duncan D. Hunter says those projects are taking too long.

    Hunter says Ft. Rosecrans is the resting place for thousands of veterans, and: "We owe them the dignity and respect that they deserve, by ensuring that this property be maintained with the highest standards."

     "Well, I would just like them to take care of this place, maybe a little better than they are now,” said one visitor to the cemetery.

    A spokesman for Veterans Affairs apologized for the problems and said the dead grass will be replaced with new turf, section by section, as the renovation is completed.

    The project should be done in summer 2014.

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