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Bakersfield National Cemetery receives Organizational Excellence award

Bakersfield National Cemetery

The Department of veterans Affairs has named Bakersfield National Cemetery as an Organization of Excellence, a designation that is given to national cemeteries that meet strict department standards.

On Dec. 14, 2021, Bakersfield National Cemetery was presented an award for receiving this designation. An independent team evaluated and compared the cemetery’s performance against National Cemetery Administration (NCA) standards, which are derived from customer satisfaction surveys, appearance of headstones and grounds, daily cleanliness of customer facing facilities, equipment and facility maintenance, and safety of visitors and employees.

On Dec. 22, 2021, a message from the Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs also announced that Bakersfield National Cemetery was one of 18 VA national cemeteries to achieve outstanding results on The Annual Survey of Satisfaction with National Cemeteries. Adding that they were one of the top three, of those 18 cemeteries honored, for not only achieving the criteria of meeting strategic targets but that they exceeded the national average.

Cemetery Director Cindy M. Van Bibber stated, “This is an extraordinary accomplishment for the hard-working, dedicated employees of Bakersfield National Cemetery. We’re honored to serve veterans and families in a national shrine. We’d like to thank all of our partners in the community and beyond for helping us serve and fulfill our promise to veterans every day.”

About National Cemetery Administration

Burial in a VA national cemetery is open to all members of the armed forces and veterans who have met minimum active duty service requirements, as applicable, and were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. Members of the reserve components of the armed forces who die while on active duty or who die while on training duty under certain circumstances are also eligible for burial, as are servicemembers and former servicemembers who were eligible for retired pay at the time of their death.

A veteran’s spouse, widow or widower, minor children, and, under certain conditions, unmarried adult children with disabilities, may also be eligible for burial, even if they predecease the veteran.

VA provides the gravesite, grave liner, opening and closing of the grave, government headstone or marker, U.S. burial flag, Presidential Memorial Certificate and perpetual care of the gravesite at no cost to the family.

VA operates 155 national cemeteries, 82 of which are open to all interments, and an additional 20 which are open to interments of cremated remains only. In addition to VA national cemeteries, two national cemeteries — Arlington and the United States Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery — are administered by the Army. Fourteen national cemeteries are maintained by the Department of the Interior. The American Battle Monuments Commission maintains 26 American cemeteries and monuments outside of the United States.

Information on VA burial benefits is available from local VA national cemetery offices, online at http://www.cem.va.gov, or by calling VA regional offices toll-free at 800-827-1000. To make burial arrangements at any open VA national cemetery at the time of need, call the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at 800-535-1117.