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JENNINGS — The Southwest Louisiana Veterans Cemetery has postponed interments and opening of its administrative office in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The administrative office building scheduled to open Monday, and the scheduling of interments beginning in April will not take place until at least May 1, according to Director of Communication at Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs Brandee Patrick.

"Obviously with all that is going on our administrative building will be closed to the public and all internments have been pushed back until at least May," Patrick said. "That date could be shortened or extended, depending on how things go."

The cemetery, which was officially dedicated on March 6, will offer 1,777 burial spots on 10 acres located next to the Southwest Louisiana Veterans Home in Jennings.

"Certainly we were very excited with the dedication and wanted to be able to offer these services to veterans of Southwest Louisiana, however, our highest priority is to protect our staff from any exposure to COVID-19," Patrick said.

Updates on the status of the opening will be posted on the Southwest Louisiana Veterans Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SWLVC.la.gov.

All members and veterans of the Armed Forces are eligible to be buried in the state run-veterans cemetery as long as they have met minim active duty requirements and were honorably discharged. Members of the reserve Armed Forces who died while on active duty or while on training duty, who were eligible for retired pay, or who were called to active duty and served the full term of service, are also eligible for burial in the cemetery.

Their spouse, widow or widower, minor children and under some conditions, adult unmarried children with disabilities are also eligible for burial in the cemetery.

Eligible veterans can also be relocated to the new cemetery, but costs associated with relocation is the responsibility of the family.

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