Coastal Carolina is one of three state Veterans cemeteries in North Carolina and the second-to-last stop on my itinerary.
Qualified Veterans who are legal residents of North Carolina at the time of death, or who were legal residents for a period of at least 10 years or when they joined the Armed Forces, are eligible for interment in the state’s Veterans cemeteries.
Coastal Carolina State Veterans Cemetery was established in 1993 and recently completed its first expansion. Around 270 interments are conducted here each year, contributing to the 28,000 burials taking place in VA-funded state cemeteries nationwide in 2010. State Veterans cemeteries like this one enhance VA’s ability to meet the burial needs of America’s Veterans.
While there, I heard about the sturdy widow of a World War II Veteran who moved her husband to Coastal Carolina from a more distant national cemetery, so she could visit his gravesite more often. She now unfailingly spends part of every Friday afternoon with him; she is such a dependable visitor, in fact, that caring cemetery staff members phone her family to check on her welfare on the rare occasions when she doesn’t appear.
This state cemetery is adjacent to Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and just outside the state cemetery sits the Montford Point Federal Cemetery. Camp Lejeune personnel maintain this small graveyard containing gravesites, headstones and markers relocated from family cemeteries in the area as the base was being built, just prior to World War II.
Below are photos of the Coastal Carolina State Veterans Cemetery.
Ron Walters is VA’s Acting Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs and Chief Financial Officer of the National Cemetery Administration. This is the ninth in his ten-part series exploring Veterans cemeteries in the southeastern U.S. Next: Raleigh National Cemetery: The End of the Road.